A fatal crowd collapse on the first night of Travis Scott’s annual Astroworld Festival On November 5 left ten dead and over 300 people injured.
Now, over a month after the event, a coroner for the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences revealed all ten victims died of “compression asphyxia”.
The investigation into the individuals and/or organizations associated with the event is currently ongoing.
However, Travis Scott continues to face the fallout from the tragedy. The 30-year-old rapper has been pulled from scheduled performances, lost sponsorships, and his previous on-stage performances are under scrutiny.
The victims were all young, with the oldest being 27 and the youngest just nine years old.
The victims were: Mirza Danish Baig, 27; Franco Cesar Patino, 21; Jacob E. Jurine, 20; John W. Hilgert, 14; Rodolfo Angel Pena, 23; Madison Alexis Dubiski, 23, Axel Beltsasar Acosta Avila, 21, Brianna Rodriguez, 16, Bharti Shahani, 22, and Ezra Blount, 9.
According to E! Online, one victim, Mirza Danish Baig, had the “combined toxic effects of cocaine, methamphetamine, and ethanol” contributing to her cause of death.
The manner of death was ruled as accidental for all the ten victims.
What is compression asphyxia?
All 10 victims died after a large section of the Astroworld Festival crowd — with about 50,000 in attendance — surged toward the stage as Travis Scott performed.
The Medico-Legal Journal describes compression asphyxia as when breathing is stopped by external forces on the body compressing the torso, which causes internal injuries.
According to a medical expert who spoke to ABC News, the pressure from the crowd likely squeezed the air from the lungs of the victims, causing them to rapidly lose consciousness, potentially within 60 seconds.
Dr. George W. Williams told the publication that the pressure from the crowd would have been “like being crushed by a car.”
“Seconds really do count to allow for that person to recover and to be rescued from that terrible event,” Williams said, adding: “The organs like the brain and the heart start getting injury and after three to four minutes that injury becomes so severe to where you can’t bring that person back.”
Travis Scott is working on a concert safety initiative
Travis Scott is reportedly working with government officials and music executives to launch a new initiative to improve concert safety.
TMZ reports that the rapper has spent several weeks meeting with The United States Conference of Mayors in an effort to form a committee aimed at ensuring safety at concerts.
It was revealed following the Astroworld tragedy that a 56-page event operations plan for the Astroworld festival did not include information on what to do in the event of a crowd surge.