It didn’t take long for lawyers to spring into action following a tragedy in Houston.
On November 5, fans rushed toward the stage at the Astroworld Festival after Drake made a surprise appearance at a Travis Scott concert.
Eight people were killed and hundreds were injured. Houston authorities said during a news conference on Saturday afternoon that two of the people killed were teenagers aged 14 and 16. The victims ranged in age from 14 to 27.
Officials said the victims died near the stage after the crowd surged forward at 9:15 pm during Scott’s headlining set. On Saturday morning, Houston Fire Chief Samuel Peña said officials declared a “mass casualty event” at 9:38 pm.
One of those injured, Kristian Paredes, has filed a lawsuit against Scott and Drake, allegedly for “inciting the crowd.” Other defendants include Live Nation and the site where the concert was held.
This allegation has not been proven in court.
?BREAKING? Thomas J. Henry Law files one of the first lawsuits in Travis Scott Astroworld Festival tragedy. If you or a loved one was injured in the Astroworld festival tragedy call now: 866-340-0555 to speak with an attorney. https://t.co/VkunAEAIq6 pic.twitter.com/L2VR0fIUQs— Thomas J. Henry Law (@thomasjhenrylaw) November 7, 2021
Another lawsuit on behalf of an injured man named Manuel Souza has been filed against Scott and Live Nation, among others.
Both lawsuits are seeking $1 million in damages.
Scott, who founded Astroworld in 2018, continued to perform as emergency vehicles attempted to move through the crowd. Video clips posted on social media showed him pausing the show as ambulances moved through the crowd.
He issued a statement on social media saying he’s “absolutely devastated by what took place” at his show.
Drake has not commented on the situation, but posted photos from his appearance on Instagram Friday evening. Neither artist has commented on the lawsuits.
Scott’s girlfriend Kylie Jenner wrote on Sunday that neither she nor Scott were aware of the deaths until the news came out after the concert. “I want to make it clear 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,” she wrote on Instagram.
Houston Police Chief Troy Finner told reporters that he’s opened a criminal investigation following reports someone in the crowd began injecting people with drugs. Finner said a security guard reported feeling a prick on his neck, passed out and had to be revived with Narcan, which is used to reverse the effects of opioid overdoses. Fire officials said others were also treated with Narcan at the scene.
There were 50,000 attendees at the annual event. The second day of the festival was cancelled following Friday night’s tragedy.
Witnesses, including the man in the tweet below, have vividly described the horror of what happened at the concert, with medics going from body to body to determine who was alive.
This story originally appeared in the Georgia Straight. With files from NOW staff