Another concertgoer died Wednesday night after she was injured during a crowd surge last week at Travis Scott’s sold-out Astroworld music festival in Houston — bringing the concert’s total death count to nine.
“At 6:50 last night, Bharti Shahani lost her battle from the horrific injuries she sustained at the Astroworld festival,” her family said during a news conference Thursday.
Eight other people, ages 14 to 27 were killed, and 25 others were taken to hospitals. More than 300 people were treated throughout the event at an on-site field hospital, officials said.
Police are conducting a criminal investigation with the involvement of the homicide and narcotics divisions, according to Houston Police Chief Troy Finner.
Meanwhile, lawsuits against Scott and festival organizers started pouring in Sunday.
One lawsuit said: “Scott actively encourages his fans to ‘rage’ at his concerts. His express encouragement of violence has previously resulted in serious violence at numerous past concerts.”
On Tuesday, Houston Fire Chief Samuel Peña told NBC’s “Today” show co-host Savannah Guthrie that Scott and others should have stopped the musical festival as soon as they became aware of a crowd surge.
But he said there was no evidence that Scott had encouraged the crowd to get rowdy, adding that the investigation continues.
“I’m not prepared to say that he was fully aware of the — of what was going on,” he said. “All I’m saying is that everybody at that event — from the artist on down, security, and everybody that’s there to provide public safety, including the crowds, right? — in general, we all have a responsibility when we attend these venues to ensure each other’s safety. We’re a community at these events.”
Peña said barricades meant to “prevent the surge towards the stage, in essence, caused other areas of pinch points, and as the crowd began to surge and push and compress towards the front, it was those people in the center that began to get crushed and the injuries start to begin.”
Scott promised Monday to refund all concertgoers and to pay for the victims’ funerals. Representatives for Scott also said he was “too distraught” to play the Day N Vegas Festival, which he had been scheduled to headline Saturday.
On Thursday Scott’s representatives released a new statement.
“Over the last week, Travis Scott and his team have been actively exploring routes of connection with each and every family affected by the tragedy through the appropriate liaisons,” the statement read. “He is distraught by the situation and desperately wishes to share his condolences and provide aid to them as soon as possible, but wants to remain respectful of each family’s wishes on how they’d best like to be connected.”
In an Instagram story over the weekend, Scott said: “I’m honestly just devastated. I could never imagine anything like this just happening.”
Elisha Fieldstadt contributed.