(Reuters) – At least two investigations and a civil lawsuit were pending on Sunday over the deadly stampede on rap star Travis Scott's music festival Astroworld that killed at least eight people and injured dozens in Houston.
Two of the victims were teenagers, 14 and 16 years, caught in the audience's crushing wave when Mr. Scott continued to perform and completed his set even after noticing that fans were receiving medical treatment. Mr. Scott, the main character and hometown star who founded the Astroworld Festival 2018, later said he was not aware of the seriousness of the situation.
Houston Police Chief Troy Finner said his department had launched a criminal investigation through murder and drug detectives, after reports that someone in the crowd had injected people with drugs.
A security guard felt a stab in the neck, fainted and was resuscitated after being injected with Narcan, a drug used to treat opioid overdoses, Mr Finner said. Several others were treated with Narcan, according to the city's fire chief, Samuel Pena.
Harris County judge Lina Hidalgo also called for an "objective, independent" investigation into the rap festival involving 50,000 people.
"Perhaps the plans were inadequate. Maybe the plans were good but they were not followed," she said. "The families of those who died, all affected, deserve answers."
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner also called for a briefing from all parties including first responders, The concert organizer Live Nation and officials from the arena, NRG Park.
] The first lawsuit in the case has been filed. Scott and Live Nation, according to a petition filed with Harris County District Court.
Neither Mr. Scott's representatives nor Live Nation responded immediately to requests for comment.
The victims were killed near the scene as the crowd rushed forward, with some who suffered cardiac arrest and other medical traumas, officials said.
The deaths ranged in age from 1
The nuisance began sometime after 9 p.m. Friday when the audience crowded near the stage and caused panic, said Mr. Pena. By 9:30 p.m., it was clear that people needed medical attention, and Mr. Scott acknowledged that an ambulance was moving through the crowd, pausing and encouraging the audience to make room.
But Mr. Scott returned to perform and told the audience that he wanted to "hear the ground shake."
At one point, concertgoers approached the stage team and appealed to them to stop the show, according to video on social media. Scott ended his set at 9:42 p.m., the Houston Chronicle reported.
The second day of the two-day show was canceled.
Scott, a Grammy-nominated singer and producer, said in a video posted on social media media late on Saturday: "I simply could not imagine the seriousness of the situation."