Travis Scott should have stopped his show during the Astroworld Festival last weekend as soon as he realised something was wrong, a Houston fire chief has said.
Eight people aged between 14 and 27 were killed in a crush during the headliner’s set, and hundreds more injured – including a nine-year-old boy who is in a coma.
Scott has come in for criticism since the event for carrying on his performance as ambulances and emergency teams entered the crowd at the Houston venue.
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Speaking to NBC’s Today show, when asked if Scott should have stopped his show, Houston fire chief Samuel Pena said: “Absolutely. Everybody at that event has a responsibility, starting from the artist… down.”
He added: “At one point, there was an ambulance that was trying to make its way through the crowd. And he’s got, the artist has, command of that crowd.
“The artist, if he notices something that’s going on, he can certainly pause that performance, turn on the lights and say, ‘Hey, we’re not going to continue until this thing is resolved.'”
During his set, Scott could be heard at one point asking security to help someone in the crowd who had collapsed – but he then carried on.
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- Travis Scott
The rest of the festival was cancelled.
It comes after it was revealed that the festival’s emergency plan had not considered the potential for crowd surges.
How do crowd surges happen and why are they deadly?
The head of Houston’s police force revealed they had also “expressed concerns” to Scott ahead of the festival.
At least 35 people have begun legal action against the rapper, who also founded the Astroworld Festival, with lawyer Tony Buzbee saying the concert was planned “incredibly poorly” with “no thought given to the safety of the young people”.
He called the event “utter chaos” and said the number of plaintiffs is growing – with his phone “ringing off the hook”.
Sky News has reached out to representatives of Travis Scott for comment, but the star has previously said he is working with law enforcement and that he was “devastated” by the deaths.