More details are coming out about the deadly Astroworld Festival
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
What was it like to attend Friday's concert in Houston, at which eight people were killed? Houston Public Media's Lucio Vasquez has been talking with people who survived Travis Scott's Astroworld. Good morning.
LUCIO VASQUEZ, BYLINE: Good morning.
INSKEEP: What are you hearing from people who did make it through?
VASQUEZ: Yeah, I spoke with several people yesterday who attended Friday's show, and they were all visibly shaken up by the incident, as you could imagine. One in particular, one woman, a 36-year-old woman named Chamari Desilva (ph), she attended the show with her 16-year-old niece. And she said they were separated when the crowd started to surge.
CHAMARI DESILVA: I've never attended a concert like this where I was compressed from every side of my body to the point where I couldn't even move to get out. It was that tight. And then to look around and see the sheer panic on everyone's eyes around me and hearing my niece scream was just - like, no one should ever live through anything like that.
VASQUEZ: She told me that eventually they reunited and that they began pushing away from the stage.
INSKEEP: But that was, of course, the struggle for many people and sometimes even trying to push away from a crowd like that can put people in danger. What are you hearing from investigators as they try to figure out how this came about?
VASQUEZ: Yeah. So now we know the names of the eight people who died at the concert. Those autopsies were completed yesterday, but the medical examiner has not yet made those findings public. Travis Scott has also promised to cover the funeral expenses for the families of the victims, and those victims range in age from 14 to 27. Separately, in a tweet yesterday, Houston Police Chief Troy Finner said that he met with Travis Scott and his head of security before Friday's show to address general public safety concerns. And he said he asked Scott and his team to work with police during the weekend and to be mindful of their messaging on social media.
INSKEEP: The word before there is crucial because the police chief is saying, hey, we thought we were on this. We were trying to make arrangements to keep things safe, and, obviously, it did not work out. So what do you hear now from lawyers given that it didn't even take the weekend for the first lawsuits to be filed?
VASQUEZ: Yeah. So we're seeing now several lawsuits being filed - 16, in fact, at this moment. Attorney Tony Buzbee announced yesterday that he would be planning to file a lawsuit on behalf of at least 35 victims, including the family of 21-year-old Axel Acosta. He was one of those eight people who were killed during Friday's show. Buzbee said Acosta died during - or died after the audience rushed the stage, essentially squeezing the air out of him due to extreme compression. Buzbee added that Acosta's family first learned of his death after seeing images of his body circulating the internet.
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TONY BUZBEE: I think it's self-evident that this concert was planned incredibly poorly, that no regard was given to the safety of these young people at the concert, that there was no emergency response mechanism in place to help those who were in an extreme situation. There was not enough medical personnel, enough security personnel, and there were more people there than should have been there.
VASQUEZ: And, again, those lawsuits 16 in total as of this moment - are being filed against concert organizers, including Live Nation, and some are naming Scott himself as a defendant. The suits allege negligence on part of the defendants and are seeking more than $1 million in damages.
INSKEEP: OK. Lucio Vasquez of Houston Public Media, thanks very much for your reporting, really appreciate it.
VASQUEZ: Thank you. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.