At least eight dead and several injured at a music festival in the United States

At least eight people died and several were injured on Friday at the Astroworld music festival in Houston (southern United States), due to an avalanche, authorities and the US media reported.

"The crowd began to flock to the front of the stage. This created a movement of panic that caused people to be injured"said the head of the Houston firefighters, Samuel Peña, at a news conference.

"We have at least eight people killed tonight (Friday) and several other injuries" Peña added.

At least 17 people were taken to the hospital and 11 of them had suffered cardiac arrest, according to this official.

Survivors described chaotic scenes, with people crushed and others struggling to breathe, according to the Houston Chronicle, a local media outlet.

"We were holding on to each other to avoid being pulled apart"said a survivor. "If you let go, you could easily get separated".

While another assistant quoted in the newspaper described how he had to carry a man who had fallen over the security barricades in the field and then have seen paramedics perform a resuscitation technique on him.

In addition, more than 300 people were injured throughout the day in the event, including some with minor scrapes and bruises, according to authorities.

About 50,000 people attended the Astroworld music festival. The accident occurred while American rapper Travis Scott was performing, who stopped the concert several times when he saw the panic movement, according to the Houston Chronicle.

Houston police are investigating the cause of the incident by examining footage from the stadium.

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Some, circulated on social media, show dozens of people pouncing on doors, while security guards are unable to contain the flow.

Several people can also be seen falling, knocking down the metal detectors at the stadium entrance, although it is unclear if that incident is related to the deaths.

One night "extremely tragic" 

A Harris County officer, Lina Hidalgo, said it was "an extremely tragic night".

"Our hearts are broken, people come to these events to have a good time, to have good memories"he added.

Police Chief Larry J Satterwhite described on his side that "within a few minutes, we suddenly had several people on the ground with some kind of cardiac arrest".

After that, they met with the concert organizers and the event was closed.

The organizers canceled the rest of the festival, which will not continue this Saturday as planned.

"Our hearts go out to the Astroworld Festival family tonight, especially those we have lost and their loved ones."organizers said on the event’s Instagram account.

"We are focused on helping the authorities"they added.

Astroworld is a music festival created by Scott himself in 2018. The 29-year-old rapper, who has a son with reality star Kylie Jenner, became known in 2013 and has had six Grammy nominations.

Other concerts were scheduled over the weekend such as that of the rappers Chief Keef and 21 Savage, and the Australian rock group Tame Impala.

As Scott performed late on Friday, he was joined onstage by Canadian rap superstar Drake.

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