Thursday, December 16, 2021

Astroworld Victims Suffocated While Being Crushed to Death

All 10 people who died because of the deadly crowd surge at Travis Scott's Astroworld Festival last month, which occurred while Scott was on stage, suffocated.

The Harris County Medical Examiner's Office announced its conclusion on Thursday that the victims died of "compression asphyxia." One of the deceased, Danish Baig, had cocaine, methamphetamine and ethanol in his system, but the drugs were contributory and not the main cause of death.

The conclusion by the medical examiner that the victims were essentially crushed to death came one day after crews finally started disassembling the Astroworld Festival stage, which stood as a grim reminder of the deadly concert 40 days later, and on the day Scott announced that he would be working with the United States Conference of Mayors to ensure a similar tragedy does not happen in the future.

“This mass tragedy reinforced the serious issue of festival safety and security,” read an agreement obtained by Variety about the partnership with the organization. “As festivals with large crowd sizes continue to enjoy popularity, organizers, city officials and other stakeholders must have a clear understanding about best practices, current vulnerabilities, and access to the most innovative technology to ensure every festival is as safe as possible.”

For the Astroworld victims who died and the 300 or so other people that were injured in the crowd of 50,000 that attended the event, the announcement from Scott did not do much to ease their grief or assuage their anger.

Following the announcement that the victim's deaths were ruled to be accidental, the family of Bharti Shahani issued this scathing statement through their attorney:

"The medical examiner's findings confirm Bharti's family's worst fears," James Lassiter said. "Their beloved daughter's last living moments were surely marked with suffering, panic, and terror. It's a horrific, inescapable image that no parent should have to endure. But that is the sad reality for the Shahanis and the nine other families that received this terrible news."

Along with 27-year-old Baig and Bharti (22), the other victims were Rodolfo Pena (23), Madison Dubiski (23), Axel Avila (21), Franco Patino (21), Jacob Jurinek (20), Brianna Rodriguez (16), John Hilgert (14) and Ezra Blount (9).

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