Survivor recalls losing brother in deadly concert surge

Some survivors of Friday’s deadly crowd surge at the Astroworld music festival in Houston say authorities did not do enough to prevent the tragedy.

Eight people were killed when a crowd pushed forward, after rapper Travis Scott took the stage. Some in the audience were crushed, while others were desperately trying to get Scott’s attention. But the concert continued for almost 40 minutes after officials declared a mass casualty event.

The oldest victim was 27 years old; the youngest was 14.

Police are defending the decision not to stop the concert earlier, reports correspondent Lilia Luciano.

Scott is one of the biggest names in music – a globally-celebrated hip-hop superstar known for high-energy, sometimes chaotic performances. On two separate occasions in the past, he has pleaded guilty to charges related to inciting disorderly conduct from fans at his concerts.

On Friday, despite more than 600 security and police officers on scene, an unruly crowd turned deadly.

Cellphone video shows a panicked festivalgoer at Friday night’s Astroworld concert pleading for help from a camera operator. “There is someone dead in there! There’s someone dead!” she screams.

But the show would go on.

Authorities say when Scott took the stage at approximately 9:00 p.m., the crowd of more than 50,000 rushed forward. People began passing out in the crush. Video shows first responders treating the injured, but authorities say they were overwhelmed.

By the end of the night, at least eight people would die, with more than a dozen hospitalized and scores injured, as the crowd surge spun out of control.

Kayla Jae was there, and she told “CBS Mornings” she tried to shield a man who had fallen to the ground. She now fears he is among the dead. “And I just held his hand until … until, like he, he like let go,” she sobbed.

Some in the crowd called for help. In the front, members of the audience tried to get Scott’s attention.

Others tried to escape the nightmare, hauling each other over metal barricades

Later on, Scott stopped his set to help someone in the crowd. “We need somebody to help, somebody passed out right here,” he said into the microphone. But the concert started again soon after.

His show didn’t end until about 10:10 p.m., almost 40 minutes after the mass casualty event had been declared.

Basil Baig was at the festival with his brother, Danish, who was killed in the crowd.

“I saw my brother being resuscitated,” said an emotional Baig. “I tried to find him. He got lost. He got lost in the crowd. I looked over my shoulder, he was there one second …”  Baig then burst out crying.

“He did not deserve this!” said Baig. “He did not deserve this! He did not deserve this!”

On Saturday, Houston Police Chief Troy Finner defended the decision not to immediately stop the show.

“We have to worry about rioting, riots … There was a cooperation and a discussion between promoters, my fire department, the police department.”

Scott posted a video to Instagram the next day, in which he said he was unaware of the severity of the situation in the crowd:

“I’m honestly just devastated. I could never imagine anything like this just happening,” he said.

Both Scott and the event promoters at Live Nation said they are cooperating with local authorities.

Police say their narcotics unit is also involved after a security guard at the event alleged he was pricked with a needle and resuscitated with Narcan.

Right now, there’s no evidence that incident or rumors around that incident had anything to do with the crowd surge.

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