Congressional Committee to Investigate Astroworld Deaths

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U.S.|Congressional Committee to Investigate Astroworld Deaths

A House oversight committee said it would statesman an enquiry into the deaths of 10 radical who were trapped successful surging crowds successful November astatine a performance successful Houston.

A memorial to those who died astatine  the Astroworld Festival successful  Houston successful  November.
Credit...Annie Mulligan for The New York Times

Dec. 22, 2021Updated 6:23 p.m. ET

The House Committee connected Oversight and Reform said connected Wednesday that it would analyse the deaths of 10 radical who were caught successful a surging, stampeding assemblage astatine a performance successful November successful Houston.

The leaders of the sheet said that they had sent a missive astir the probe to Live Nation Entertainment Inc., which organized the performance — the Astroworld Festival astatine NRG Park — wherever 50,000 radical gathered connected Nov. 5 to spot a hometown rapper, Travis Scott, and different artists perform.

The missive informed Michael Rapino, the president and main enforcement of Live Nation Entertainment Inc., that the institution had until Jan. 7 to supply details astir the information measures it had planned for the festival, wherever a large, excited assemblage surged toward the beforehand of a signifier during a show by Mr. Scott.

“Recent reports rise superior concerns astir whether your institution took capable steps to guarantee the information of the 50,000 concertgoers who attended Astroworld Festival,” the missive said. “We are profoundly saddened by the deaths that occurred astatine Astroworld Festival and are committed to investigating what went incorrect to pass imaginable reforms that could forestall aboriginal tragedies.”

The missive was signed by the Oversight and Reform Committee’s chairwoman, Representative Carolyn B. Maloney, Democrat of New York, and its ranking member, Representative James Comer, Republican of Kentucky, and by 3 different members of the House of Representatives: Kevin Brady, Republican of Texas; Al Green, Democrat of Texas; and Bill Pascrell Jr., Democrat of New Jersey.

In a statement, Live Nation said it was “assisting section authorities successful their probe and volition of people stock accusation with the committee arsenic well.”

“Safety is halfway to unrecorded events, and Live Nation engages successful elaborate information readying successful coordination with section stakeholders including instrumentality enforcement, occurrence and EMT professionals,” the connection said. “We are heartbroken by the events astatine Astroworld, and our deepest sympathies spell retired to the families and friends of the victims.”

The performance promoter is facing dozens of civilian lawsuits, and the Houston Police Department is conducting a transgression probe into the event, which appeared to beryllium 1 of the deadliest crowd-control disasters astatine a performance successful the United States successful galore years. The performance recalled a 1979 amusement by the Who earlier which thousands of radical rushed the doors of Riverfront Coliseum successful Cincinnati, leaving 11 dead.

On Dec. 16, the aesculapian examiner’s bureau successful Harris County concluded that the 10 radical killed astatine the Astroworld Festival died of compression asphyxia, meaning they were crushed to death.

The victims ranged successful property from 9 to 27. The deaths were an accident, according to the aesculapian examiner’s office.

Hundreds of radical were injured astatine the concert.

As euphony resumed during the event, Mr. Scott urged the assemblage to “make the crushed shake.” He is besides being sued, arsenic are others tied to the festival.

Since the concert, Live Nation has faced questions astir wherefore it didn’t unopen down the lawsuit instantly aft constabulary officers and firefighters began receiving reports astatine 9:38 p.m. of a “mass casualty event.”

Instead, the concert continued for different 30 minutes.

In their letter, the lawmakers asked for written answers to a bid of questions astir however Live Nation prepared for the festival and responded to the tragedy, including asking for the precise clip that the promoter learned that the authorities declared the performance a wide casualty event.

People who attended the concert said that the lawsuit was hectic from the beginning, with fights breaking retired passim the time and radical rushing to get to the beforehand of the stage.

The lawmakers cited that chaos successful their missive and noted quality reports that indicated “security and aesculapian unit were inexperienced oregon ill-equipped to woody with wide injuries.”

The missive added: “Experts person stated that Astroworld Festival organizers failed to heed informing signs.”

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