Astroworld festival tragedy: Houston creates task force to review event security

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A new task force will look at how to improve security at big events in the Houston area in hopes of averting another tragedy like last year’s deadly Astroworld music festival, officials said Wednesday.

The task force will review possible security improvements, consider ways to improve communication between different agencies and departments, and make recommendations “to ensure consistent operational standards for future events,” Mayor Sylvester Turner said.

A huge crowd surge at the Astroworld music festival resulted in the deaths of 10 spectators.
(Amy Harris/Invision/AP, File)

Questions have been raised about a possible lack of coordination between officials who work for the city of Houston and surrounding Harris County, and festival promoter Live Nation over several issues ahead of the Nov. 5 concert. Among the questions asked were whether there were enough security and medical personnel and whether there was enough coordinated planning to respond to emergencies like the massive crowd surge that left 10 people dead.

“We know the city and county can do better,” Turner said.

ASTROWORLD TRAGEDY: KNOW ALL

The 10 people who died were among the 50,000 who attended the festival led by rapper Travis Scott.

Those killed died of asphyxiation by compression. A medical expert said the pressure from the crowd was so strong it quickly forced all the air out of the victims’ lungs, causing them to pass out in about a minute and die because critical organs were depleted of oxygen.

Those who died ranged in age from 9 to 27. About 300 people were injured and treated at the scene, and 25 were taken to hospital.

Harris County Commissioner Adrian Garcia said he hopes the task force will help resolve concerns people may have about the safety of events in the Houston area.

General view of atmosphere during the Third Annual Astroworld Festival at NRG Park on November 05, 2021 in Houston, Texas.
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General view of atmosphere during the Third Annual Astroworld Festival at NRG Park on November 05, 2021 in Houston, Texas.
(Photo by Rick Kern/Getty Images)

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“I want this task force to address the concerns of parents across our region, that if they come to an event, whether it’s inside the county or inside the city, they know there’s there has been a lot of thought given to the safety and well-being of all participants in these respective events,” Garcia said.

The task force is due to meet monthly, but no date was given by which its members hoped to complete their work.

When asked by reporters what part of the task force’s work would focus on determining what was wrong with the Astroworld festival and what coordination between the different parties had not been done, Turner said the group would look to the future and not go back on anyone. an event. He said the task force would not interfere with the criminal investigation into the Astroworld concert being conducted by the Houston police.

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A woman walks past a memorial to those who died at the Astroworld festival outside NRG Park in Houston, Texas.

A woman walks past a memorial to those who died at the Astroworld festival outside NRG Park in Houston, Texas.
(Photo by Brandon Bell/Getty Images)

Over 400 lawsuits were filed for injuries and deaths at the concert, many against Live Nation and Scott.

Last month, the Texas Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation, which is overseen by the Texas Supreme Court, agreed to consolidate lawsuits and let them be heard by a judge as the cases progress through the court system. . The jury has yet to choose a judge.

The United States House Oversight and Reform Committee announced in December that it was investigating Live Nation’s role in the murder concert.

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