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Crush of crowd at Houston music festival kills 8

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Crush of crowd at Houston music festival kills 8
Rapper Travis Scott attends the premiere of Netflix's "Travis Scott: Look Mom I Can Fly" at Barker Hangar on August 27, 2019 in Santa Monica, Calif. The crush of the crowd during his set in Houston on Friday night killed eight people. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo

Nov. 6 (UPI) -- Panic at a Houston music festival caused chaos among the crowd, leading to eight deaths and hundreds of injuries, emergency officials said.

The crowd surged during rapper Travis Scott's set at the Astroworld Festival on Friday night, injuring more than 300 people during the crush, Houston Fire Chief Samuel Pena said.

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"The crowd began to compress toward the front of the stage" around 9:15 p.m., he said.

"That caused some panic, and it started causing some injuries, people began to fall out, become unconscious, and it created additional panic."

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Most of the injured were treated at the site -- NRG Park -- but 23 were transported by ambulance to area hospitals. Of those, 11 were in cardiac arrest.

Some of the injured were as young as 10.

"Our hearts are broken," Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo said.

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"We got to grieve for these families right now," Houston Police Chief Troy Finner said. "Everybody in our city, pray for these families and we got to get through it."

Scott issued a statement Saturday saying he was "devastated" by the incident.

"My prayers go out to the families and all those impacted by what happened at Astroworld Festival," he said.

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"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."

Authorities told family members of concert-goers who were missing to meet at the Wyndham Hotel on Kirby Drive near the concert venue, KHOU-TV in Houston reported. The Houston Office of Emergency Management encouraged those looking for loved ones to call 832-393-2991 or 832-393-2990.

NBC News reported some 50,000 people attended the music festival, which began Friday night and was expected to last through the weekend. Festival organizers canceled the rest of the two-day event.

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