2:54 PM PST, November 8, 2021
A crowd safety expert says the deadly tragedy at Astroworld was a “preventable disaster” and is sharing tips about what to do if you ever find yourself in a similar situation.
“When you start seeing surges and crowd crushes, you want to stop the show, reduce the crowd density. It might mean reducing how many people are in the area. And give everybody a chance to group,” Paul Wertheimer told Inside Edition.
Rapper Travis Scott, the organizer and headliner of the annual Houston music festival, is known for having shows with “tumultuous energy and boisterous physical activity,” the Los Angeles Times reported.
In 2017, Scott was charged with inciting a riot after he encouraged concertgoers to rush the stage at a show in Arkansas. He pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct.
There was a similar incident at Lollapalooza in Chicago in 2015.
Astroworld promoters in Houston had an emergency plan in the event of a “mass casualty event.”
Wertheimer says there are things you can do to survive if you find yourself in a stampede like the one at Astroworld, including moving your feet into a boxer stance for greater stability and if you can, putting your arms in front of your chest to give yourself a buffer.
Another tip — don’t scream.
“Don’t use up your oxygen. Don’t yell and scream for help. Nobody can hear you,” Wertheimer said.
Meanwhile, new details are emerging about the eight fans who lost their lives in the disaster.
At 14 years old, John Hilgert was the youngest victim. He was a star high school baseball player.
Brianna Rodriguez, 16, was a high school junior who loved to dance. Franco Patino, 21, was an engineering student at the University of Dayton. Jacob Jurinex, 23, attended Southern Illinois University.
Axel Acosta, 21, was attending his first music festival. Danish Baig, 27, died while trying to save a relative in the crush. Rudy Pena, 23, was studying criminology at a college in Laredo. Madison Dubiski, 23, was a former high school cheerleader.
Twenty-five people were hospitalized.
Scott says he will issue refunds to everyone who bought tickets to the festival. He also canceled an appearance scheduled for this weekend in Las Vegas.
Kylie Jenner, Scott’s girlfriend who is pregnant with their second child, wrote on social media, “We weren’t aware of any fatalities until the news came out after the show and in no world would have continued filming or performing.”