Questions rise over how security handled Astroworld Festival tragedy

Tuesday, November 9, 2021
Questions about how security handled Astroworld Festival tragedy
As families and friends mourn the loss of their loved ones at the Astroworld Festival tragedy, the question remains ... could this have been avoided?

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- New video reveals the chaos and confusion inside Travis Scott's Astroworld Festival as the investigation continues into the deaths of eight people.

A video shared with ABC13 shows security desperately calling for help as there are people on the ground with no pulse, and no one to give compressions.

"He's not having a pulse," a woman working security said. "There are like four people back there with no pulse."

Maximiliano Alvarado captured the woman on camera wearing a "Valle Security Texas" shirt, begging for help. This was all captured while Travis Scott continued to perform to the sold-out crowd of 50,000 people.

"I felt like those bodies were lying down there for a really long time," Alvarado said.

He said the security woman seemed like she was doing everything she could, but the concert just simply wasn't prepared. When Houston police showed up, there still seemed to be confusion as the security woman is heard saying, "I told you we need chest compression."

Once the paramedic did come, Alvarado said there was only one person doing CPR for two different people.

"I saw the paramedic almost on the verge of tears, catching her breath because she was working on two bodies," Alvarado said.

After the victims were taken away on stretchers, Alvarado said the priority was the VIP section, including celebrities.

"She was trying to catch her breath and the security is pushing her to the side to let VIP go," Alvarado recalled.

In the video, a security guard is seen moving a paramedic to the side, in red with blue gloves, as those in VIP were escorted by. Meanwhile, thousands of people on the other side of the barriers were packed tightly, struggling to breathe.

"It was hard to escape because there weren't many ways to exit," Alvarado recalled.

ABC13 has reached out to Live Nation and Valle Security Texas about the footage but we have not heard back.

In light of the event, Houston Police Chief Troy Finner released the following statement:

"I met with Travis Scott and his head of security for a few minutes last Friday prior to the main event. I expressed my concerns regarding public safety and that in my 31 years of law enforcement I have never seen a time with more challenges facing citizens of all ages, to include a global pandemic and social tension throughout the nation. I asked Travis Scott and his team to work with HPD for all events over the weekend and to be mindful of his team's social media messaging on any unscheduled events. The meeting was brief and respectful and a chance for me to share my public safety concerns as chief of police. As I have previously stated, our criminal investigation continues. We are asking everyone t be considerate of the grieving families during this incredibly difficult time. Please continue to lift them up in prayer."