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Nine people confirmed dead in a music festival in USA

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Nine people confirmed dead in a music festival in USA

Medical specialists confirmed the deaths of 9 people late on Friday night at the Astroworld Festival. The incident occurred during a performance by rapper Travis Scott, who created and launched the event in 2018.

“We had at least eight confirmed fatalities tonight and scores of individuals that were injured,” Houston fire chief Samuel Pena said, adding the causes of death had not yet been determined.

Pena said the incident occurred when the crowd began to crowd around the stage at about 9:15pm local time (12:15 GMT). People then began to pass out from not being able to breathe.

“It happened all at once. It seemed like it just happened … over the course of just a few minutes,” said Houston Police Executive Assistant Chief Larry Satterwhite.

“Suddenly we had several people down on the ground, experiencing some type of cardiac arrest or some type of medical episode,” he added.

Officials transported 17 people to the hospital, including 11 who were in cardiac arrest, Pena said. Many people were also treated at the scene at NRG Park, where a field hospital had been set up.

The Houston Chronicle reported performer Scott had stopped multiple times during his 75-minute show when he spotted fans in distress near the front of the stage.

He asked security to make sure they were okay and help them out of the crowd. Emergency vehicles, lights and alarms flashing, cut through the crowds several times.

Images on social media showed a heavy emergency personnel presence at the scene. Police said they were reviewing video footage of the arena.

The sold-out event was meant to run for two nights, and featured acts such as Drake, Young Thug, Tame Impala, and Earth, Wind and Fire. The second day was cancelled following the deaths and police say organisers are cooperating with the investigation.

Authorities said a reunification centre had been set up at a nearby hotel for those who have not heard from loved ones following the incident.

Earlier in the day, crowds at the festival had rushed to a VIP area, knocking over fences and reportedly trampling some people who fell but no serious injuries were reported at the time.

About 50,000 people were in attendance at the festival.

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