November 8, 2021 | By Bronwen Largier | Image: A press conference with Houston officials in the aftermath of the event | Houston Police Department Facebook

Eight people died at a music festival in Houston, Texas on Friday after a crowd crush.

Approximately 50,000 people were attending the Astroworld Festival at NRG Park when a crowd surge occurred during the performance of Travis Scott, the festival’s founder.

Various reports in other media and on social media indicate the surge happened soon after Scott took to the stage, with people suffering cardiac arrests or other medical episodes and falling unconscious. Various attendees have described the pressure of surge and being unable to breathe.

The eight who died were aged between 14 and 27, with the age of one of the dead yet to be determined.

There have also been reports of someone injecting drugs into those present, with city officials detailing one incident of a security personnel feeling a prick in his neck while dealing with the crowd and falling unconscious soon after. He was revived by drug overdose medication and a prick mark on his neck was noted by medical staff.

Houston Police have opened a criminal investigation including homicide and narcotics into the event.

“This incident is being thoroughly investigated and reviewed thoroughly,” said Houston’s Mayor Sylvester Turner.

“It is important for us to ascertain from last night what took place, what happened, where missteps may have occurred and in so doing there will be conversations with, for example, representatives of Live Nation, we’ll continue to talk to Travis Scott’s people, we’ll talk to as many witnesses as we can, who were present last night; we’re talking with those individuals who have been hospitalised to try to get a much better understanding of what took place, what went wrong, where were the missteps.”

Turner said there were Over 1,200 security personnel at the event, including police and private security engaged by the festival promotor Live Nation.

“There are a lot of unanswered questions and over the next several days, several weeks, could be even longer, we’ll take an in-depth look at everything that took place, why it took place, what steps we can do moving forward to mitigate an incident of this kind from taking place at any other point in time,” he said.