News World US US music festival death toll rises to nine

US music festival death toll rises to nine

Astroworld Festival
Nine people were killed after a crowd surge at the Astroworld music festival in Texas. Photo: Getty
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A 22-year-old college student who was critically injured at the Astroworld music festival in Houston has died, making her the ninth person to die after a crowd surge during a performance by headline performer Travis Scott.

Bharti Shahani died on Wednesday (local time), lawyer James Lassiter said.

“Bharti was a shining star in the community,” he said.

“She was a sister, a daughter, a high-achieving college student about to graduate from Texas A&M University with high, high grades.”

Hundreds of others were injured in the surge last Friday night as Scott took to the stage.

A criminal investigation into the deaths is underway.

Scott was only minutes into his headlining show at the Astroworld music festival when at least one Houston officer radioed over a police channel that the main stage had been compromised by a massive crowd surge.

Hundreds of other fans were injured as a mass of bodies pressed towards the stage, and nearly a week later at least two were still in critical condition.

They include a nine-year-old boy whose family said was placed in a medically induced coma.

Authorities have opened a criminal investigation but have not yet assigned any fault.

Scott took the stage in his hometown of Houston shortly after 9pm local time.

The rapper kept performing his set, which lasted about an hour. His attorneys have said he did not know about the tragedy unfolding in the crowd until after the show.

Houston Police Chief Troy Finner said on Wednesday that police told organisers to shut down the performance when fans in the crowd were administered CPR.

Scott’s lawyers on Wednesday pointed to an operational plan for the event that states only the festival director and executive producers have the authority to stop the show, “neither of which is part of Travis’s crew”.

“Investigations should start proceeding over finger-pointing so that together, we can identify exactly what transpired and how we can prevent anything like this from happening again,” attorney Edwin F. McPherson said in a statement.