Hours after the family of a nine-year-old victim of the Astroworld Music Festival incident sued Travis Scott and Live Nation along with the security company hired at the event, the FBI announced it was joining the criminal investigation into the mass casualty event.
It would be recalled that Members of a densely packed crowd surged toward a stage and were crushed against each other during Scott’s concert on Friday, leading to the death of at least eight people while scores of others were injured in the chaos, according to witnesses.
Throughout Tuesday, several key updates have taken place. So far, along with the FBI joining the criminal investigation, key evidence has surfaced that the venue organizers knew the risk it undertook when it decided to host more than 50,000 people at NRG Park. Travis Scott and Astroworld, along with Live Nation and other defendants, have had 18 lawsuits filed against them so far.
Up to the end of Tuesday, 18 lawsuits for negligence related to the crowd surge that killed eight people and injured 300 were filed in Harris County. A presiding judge has granted an order allowing attorneys to inspect the site of the incident.
An event operations plan that was produced by Austin-based promoter ScoreMore Shows which is a defendant named in one of the lawsuits lacked proper preparation and ability to manage a mass medical emergency.
After the tragedy on Friday night, accounts by concertgoers said that security and staff working at the events lacked proper skills in administering CPR and other life-saving techniques. One nurse at the venue who said she offered to help said that there were no Ambu bags or other medical equipment to save patrons crushed in the surge.
A document obtained by CNN News shows that the staff at the festival were told: “not to perform first aid and CPR if they were not properly trained.”
The plan also made preparations for adverse weather conditions as well as a possible active shooter situation, power loss, and release of hazardous materials, but it lacked substance when it came to a possible reaction to a Mass Casualty Incident and what staff should do in that case.
“Based on the site’s layout and numerous past experiences, the potential for multiple alcohol/drug related incidents, possible evacuation needs, and the ever-present threat of a mass casualty situation are identified as key concerns,” the plan read.
The plan also instructed festival staff to not refer to dead concertgoers as dead or deceased but as ‘Smurfs’ if they are reporting a fatality.
Many videos online showed panicked concertgoers begging camera staff to call for help and inform the organizers that someone had died in the crowd and there were other people needing help.
In nine-year-old Ezra Blount’s lawsuit, his Attorney Ben Crump said that Scott continued to perform for almost 40 minutes even as the Police declared the event a mass casualty event.
According to reports, people had begun collapsing around 9:39 PM but even as emergency personnel responded, Scott continued performing and finished his set at 10:15 PM. However, it was apparent from the moment he touched the stage that people in the crowd were in distress.
At some points of his performance, Scott did appear to stop and render help. However, when fans chanted stop the show, the rapper persisted.