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Medical examiners rule Astroworld deaths as accidental

All 10 deaths have been ruled to have been caused by compression asphyxia

  • Becky Buckle
  • 17 December 2021
Medical examiners rule Astroworld deaths as accidental

Medical examiners have ruled that the deaths of ten people in a crowd surge at Astroworld Festival in Houston were accidental.

Examiners at Harris County Institute of Forensic Science in Houston have said that all ten victims died from compression asphyxia.

Initial reports had speculated that at least some of the victims may have died of drug-related causes, however the report that was released December 16 concluded that all ten deaths were accidental.

Only one of the victims was found to have other contributing factors, cited as “combined toxic effects of cocaine, methamphetamine and ethanol”.

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Around 300 people were also injured at the festival with 25 taken to hospital after the crowd surge on November 5 in Houston’s NRG Park.

The event has been labelled as a “mass casualty incident,” and hundreds of people have filed lawsuits against Travis Scott, Drake, Live Nation, and others involved in the event.

According to Variety the victims who died at the festival included a dancer, an aspiring border agent, a student athlete, a computer programming student, a district manager at AT&T, a marketer, a pair of best friends and a nine-year-old boy. Their names are Mirza Baig, 27, Rodolfo Pena, 23, Madison Dubiski, 23, Bharti Shahani, 22, Axel Avila, 21, Franco Patino, 21, Jacob Jurinek, 20, Brianna Rodriguez, 16, John Hilgert, 14, and Ezra Blount, 9.

Read this next: Astroworld security guards are the latest to file lawsuit against Travis Scott

During a press conference, Houston Fire Chief Samuel Peña said that “people began to fall out, become unconscious, and it created additional panic.” He added that the festival’s on-site medical units were “quickly overwhelmed” following the crowd surge.

In a statement released November 6, Travis Scott said: “I’m absolutely devastated by what took place last night. My prayers go out to the families ad all those impacted by what happened at Astroworld Festival. Houston PD has my total support as they continue to look into the tragic loss of life."

"I am committed to working together with the Houston community to heal and support the families in need. Thank you to Houston PD, Fire Department and NRG Park for their immediate response and support. Love You All.”

Becky Buckle is Mixmag's Digital Intern, follow her on Twitter

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