(CNN) – At least eight people were killed and many others injured after a crowd jostled while rapper Travis Scott was on stage at the Astroworld Festival in Houston on Friday night, authorities said.
“We had dozens of people injured,” Houston Fire Chief Sam Peña said during a news conference early Saturday morning.
About 50,000 people were at the sold-out outdoor music festival at NRG Park, the stadium complex where the Astrodome and NRG Stadium are located, when the incident occurred shortly after 8 p.m. (Miami time), they said. the functionaries.
“The crowd, for whatever reason, started to push and climb towards the front of the stage, which made the people in the front compressed, they couldn’t escape from that situation,” Peña told CNN Saturday morning. .
That caused panic and the situation worsened and overwhelmed security personnel there, he said.
“People started fighting, losing consciousness and that generated additional panic,” Peña said at the press conference.
More than 300 people were treated at a field hospital set up near the festival, Peña said.
Twenty-three people were taken to hospitals, 11 of whom were in critical condition, and eight of them died, Peña said. One patient was 10 years old and ultimately in critical condition, Peña told CNN on Saturday morning.
Members of the crowd were trying to resurrect the wounded
Those who attended the concert shared the chaos that ensued on social media. The medical staff were so overwhelmed by the injuries that some audience members attempted to administer CPR.
The live broadcast of the event showed Scott pausing his performance to watch in confusion as an ambulance with flashing lights pulled up to the venue.
Houston police and event security personnel stopped the concert “as soon as the situation got to the point where resources were overwhelmed,” but by then “the damage was done,” Peña said.
He further noted that the cause of the stampede was not immediately clear.
Investigators will review video of the scene and see how the site was designed and if it had enough exit points, Peña said.
The investigation will investigate “what caused, one, the problem of the stampede of crowds and two, what prevented people from escaping from that situation,” Peña explained.
The causes of the deaths are pending the determination of the medical examiner, he said.
In a statement on Twitter Saturday morning, festival organizers said that “our hearts go out to the Astroworld Festival family tonight, especially those we lost and their loved ones,” and that “they are focused on supporting the authorities. locals as we can. “
The Saturday portion of the event, planned for two days, was canceled, organizers said.
“As the authorities mentioned in their previous press conference, they are investigating the series of cardiac arrests that took place. If you have relevant information on this, please contact @houstonpolice,” the tweet reads.
Astroworld organizers did not immediately respond to CNN’s request for comment early Saturday morning.
The Houston Office of Emergency Management established a direct line for people who have not been able to communicate with people who are known to have attended the concert.
People walked through the door hours earlier and 3 were trampled on at an event two years ago
Earlier in the day, video from CNN affiliate KPRC showed numerous people rushing through a VIP entrance at the event, shooting down metal detectors and sometimes other people, and ignoring security personnel.
The video showed some people helping others to get up. Peña said he also did not know what caused the urgency.
“We know there were people who jumped the fence,” and at least one person was injured in that afternoon rush, Peña said.
In 2019, three people were trampled and hospitalized as thousands rushed into the festival.
The event, now in its third year, is hosted by Scott, a Houston native. It was scheduled to run Friday through Saturday, according to the event’s website.
The festival was scheduled to feature artists like SZA, Bad Bunny, and 21 Savage.
The mayor of Houston offered his condolences to the loved ones of those who passed away.
“Organizers held the event to bring people together for music, but sadly it ended in tragedy. Thanks to the police, fire and other agencies that responded to help,” Mayor Sylvester Turner posted on Twitter.
CNN’s Claudia Domínguez, Rosa Flores and Keith Allen contributed to this report.