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A 22-year-old woman has died from injuries sustained at Astroworld Festival, which raises the death toll to nine victims.
At a press conference held Thursday, November 11, attorney James Lassiter revealed that Bharti Shahani, age 22, died Wednesday night after attending Travis Scott’s Astroworld Festival in Houston on Friday, November 5.
A Texas A&M University student, Shahani was attending the festival with her cousin and her younger sister.
‘Bharti was a shining star in the community,’ Lassiter said. ‘She was a sister, a daughter, a high-achieving college student about to graduate from Texas A&M University with high, high grades.’
Shahani attended the festival with her cousin, Mohit Bellani and her sister, Namrata. They lost contact with each other during the intense crowd movement, which would lead to the tragedy. They described the intense moment of chaos when they lost Shahani.
‘Once one person fell, people started toppling like dominos. It was like a sinkhole. People were falling on top of each other,’ Bellani told ABC13. ‘There were like layers of bodies on the ground, like two people thick. We were fighting to come up to the top and breathe to stay alive.’
A GoFundMe was established to assist Shahani and her family with hospital costs.
Astroworld was attended by 50,000 people on its opening day of November 5. During Travis Scott’s performance, concertgoers began to push towards the stage, prompting a number of people to have to be pulled from the front of the crowd as they became crushed. Nine people died from the incident, with ‘scores of injuries’ reported as a result of the surge.
Patrick “Marty” Lancton, president of the Houston Professional Fire Fighter Association, spoke on Thursday to discuss his perspective on the night of the tragedy. He says he was denied access to the event two times after trying to enter the venue. He was hoping to get familiar with the festivals layout, but never got the chance.
‘As with any big, large-scale event he took a ride over and said ‘hey, let’s check everything out,” Lancton said. ‘In the city of Houston, a district fire chief is usually over three or four stations. When a response is required in his area, he is the first to respond. He would be the one taking command if something happened and determine what resources are needed.’
Authorities have opened a criminal investigation into the incident.
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