A 22-year-old college student who was seriously injured at the Astroworld festival in Houston has died, her family’s attorney said Thursday, increasing the death toll to 9 after a human avalanche onto the stage during the performance of the Star artist Travis Scott.
Bharti Shahani passed away Wednesday night, attorney James Lassiter said during a news conference.
“Bharti was a shining star in the community,” Lassiter said. “I was a sister, daughter, high achieving college student who was about to graduate from Texas A&M University with very, very high grades.”
Shahani’s family said he was studying electronic systems engineering.
His mother Karishma Shahani was moved during the press conference. He pointed to his heart as he cried: “What happened to him? I want my baby back, I’m empty here. “
Authorities have not released details about fans who have been hospitalized since Friday, but the family of a 9-year-old boy who attended the concert with his father has said the boy was put into a coma induced by injuries he sustained in your heart, lungs and brain.
Hundreds more were injured in the avalanche that began Friday when Scott arrived on stage. A criminal investigation into the deaths at Astroworld is being prepared.
Scott had been just minutes away from his show as lead artist when at least one Houston police officer radioed on a police station that the main stage was at risk from a massive surge in crowd.
Police radio transmission of the Friday night concert, obtained by the Houston Chronicle, reveals how quickly authorities realized there was increasing danger in the crowd of concertgoers shortly after the The rapper began performing at the sold-out festival that drew some 50,000 people.
Scott took the stage in his native Houston shortly after 9:00 p.m.
“It seems that there are people coming out of the crowd complaining of breathing difficulties, crush-type injuries,” said an officer on the police radio at 9:21 pm, according to the audio obtained by the newspaper. “It seems like the crowd is compressing itself.”
Scott followed his presentation, which lasted an hour. His lawyers have said that he did not know of the tragedy that was unfolding among the public until after the concert. The newspaper reported that officers saw people leave the crowd but their voice remained calm for the first half hour.
“I’m in the medical tent,” said an officer on the radio around 9:30 pm “There are many people trampled on and they are unconscious on the main stage.”
Then another officer says: “We are receiving multiple reports of people injured. We have another report of a cardiac situation with cardiopulmonary resuscitation near the stage ”.
Houston Police Chief Troy Finner said Wednesday that police told organizers to stop the concert when people in the audience began receiving CPR. Authorities said around 10:03 p.m. that the concert was in the process of wrapping up, but according to witnesses Scott and Drake, who arrived as a surprise guest toward the end of Scott’s concert, continued to perform.
Finner repeatedly declined to provide times on Wednesday for his second press conference since the tragedy, arguing the case remains under investigation. He said more than 500 police officers worked at the festival, more than double the number assigned in 2019, the last year the festival had been held.
Finner said the festival did not give clear numbers on how many private security guards were working on the concert, describing what they delivered as “just wrong.” It was up to Live Nation Entertainment, the concert promoter, to secure two areas in front of the stage, Finner said.
On Wednesday Scott’s attorneys drew up an operational plan for the event stating that only the festival director and executive producers had the authority to stop the concert “none of them are part of Travis’s team.”
“Investigators should start laying down accountability so that together we can identify exactly what happened and how we can prevent something like this from happening again,” attorney Edwin F. McPherson said in a statement.
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Injured student at Astroworld dies, 9 victims