Harris County Commissioners punt on calls for independent review of Astroworld Tragedy

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Monday, November 15, 2021
Harris County judge calls for independent review of Astroworld tragedy
With the death toll of the Astroworld Festival now up to 10, Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo called for an independent review of what happened.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo's push for an independent review of the Astroworld tragedy fell short during a special called meeting of the Harris County Commissioners Court on Monday.

With the death toll of the Astroworld Festival tragedy now up to 10, Judge Hidalgo called for an independent investigation into what led to the series of events.

She was hoping to get fellow commissioners to agree to hire an outside firm with a specific timeline of action. But she did not get that.

"We needed three votes to this, I didn't have the votes," Hidalgo said after an extended executive session.

Both Democratic Commissioner Adrian Garcia and Republican Commissioner Jack Cagle expressed concerns that the proposed investigation would expose the county to certain legal liabilities it currently is not involved in.

In the end, the commissioners' court passed a resolution, but different from what Hidalgo asked for. The commissioners' court approved for the county administrator to meet with various sports authorities and entities and discuss what can be done moving forward in conjunction with all future concerts.

The motions read: Move to support the Houston Police Depts criminal investigation into tragic Astroworld concert, and to direct the County Administrator to meet with Sports Convention Corporation and Houston/Harris County Sports Authority to conduct an independent review of the security, fire, life, and safety plans of scheduled outdoor concert on NRG Park property in coordination with the mayor's Office and relevant depts to ensure all possible best practices are being implemented.

Hidalgo remained hopeful the language, though broad, will spur some action.

"It doesn't have deadlines like the proposal I originally made. I hope that it comes back with actionable lessons. I hope it doesn't result in something vague or forgotten," she said.

The recent move comes following 9-year-old Ezra Blount's death as a result of being trampled while trying to watch Travis Scott perform.

Ezra had been on life support for days after he fell and was trampled during the concert. On Sunday, his family told ABC13 he had died.


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