Nine-year-old boy who was sitting on his father’s shoulders at the Astroworld festival is in a medically induced coma after being injured in the fatal crowd surge
- Ezra Blount of Dallas, 9, is in a medically-induced coma after he was trampled at Travis Scott’s deadly Astroworld Festival on Friday
- The boy’s father, Treston, passed out trying to hold the boy above the crowd – when he came to, his son had been admitted to the hospital as a John Doe
- The boy was ‘badly trampled,’ suffering from cardiac arrest, lung damage and severe brain swelling – whether he will survive is ‘up in the air’
- Travis Scott said he will cover the funeral costs for the eight victims killed during a violent crowd surge at his Astroworld Festival on Friday in Houston, Texas
- Lawsuits against the rapper and organizers continued piling up on Monday alleging ‘extreme distress’ caused to concertgoers
- Lawyers said the tragedy was preventable and pointed to a history of injuries reported at Scott’s performances
A nine-year-old boy who was dropped by his father as he held him above the crush of bodies at Friday’s deadly Astroworld Festival is in a medically induced coma with extensive damage to his lungs, heart and brain.
Ezra Blount was among the hundreds of concertgoers hospitalized during the stampede at the Travis Scott show.
The boy traveled from his mother’s home in Dallas to see one of his favorite artists with his dad, Treston. But the father-son outing quickly turned into a nightmare.
Treston said he passed out while holding up Ezra so he wouldn’t be crushed. When he came to at the venue’s medical tent, his son had been admitted by himself to an area hospital as a John Doe.
‘Due to his severe injuries which are swelling in the back of brain damage and trauma to nearly all organs we are certain that he was trampled and is still in induced coma,’ Treston wrote on a GoFundMe initiative for his son, which has raised nearly $7,000 in just three hours.
Ezra Blount (pictured), 9, traveled from his mother’s in Dallas to see one of his favorite artists with his Dad, Treston. The boy’s father said he passed out while holding the boy up so he wouldn’t be crushed – when he came to at the venue’s medical tent, his son had been admitted by himself to an area hospital as a John Doe
‘Due to his severe injuries which are swelling in the back of brain damage and trauma to nearly all organs we are certain that he was trampled and is still in induced coma,’ Treston Blount (left) wrote on a GoFundMe initiative for his son Ezra (right), which has raised nearly $7,000 in just 3 hours
Ezra’s Dad Treston (pictured) is a huge Travis Scott fan, with an Astroworld graphic as his Facebook cover photo and even an Astroworld tattoo on his forearm. Now, though, he and his family are looking for answers – and Travis Scott’s apologies thus far haven’t cut it
Now, like the families of the eight concertgoers who perished on Friday, Ezra’s family is looking for answers – and Travis Scott’s (pictured) apology, promises to cover the funeral expenses of the deceased and refund Friday’s tickets won’t cut it
Around 2pm hundreds of fans stormed the festival’s VIP entrance. About seven hours later the surge in front of the main stage killed eight people but the two events appear to be unrelated
Treston is a huge Travis Scott fan, with an Astroworld graphic as his Facebook cover photo and even an Astroworld tattoo on his forearm. Now, though, he and his family are looking for answers – and Travis Scott’s apologies thus far haven’t cut it.
‘I’ve seen apologies online that didn’t look so sincere from people who participated in the event. If you feel so bad, why don’t you go to the hospital to check on your fans? Why would you keep letting concerts be this way and let people get injured?’ Ezra’s grandfather, Bernon Blount, told ABC13.
‘Nobody should get injured to make a dollar – nobody should have to lose their child, their grandchild to make a dollar. safety should have been provided for their fans.’
The boy’s grandfather said that the boy was injured so severely at the event that he went into cardiac arrest.
‘If the mayor said there was 500 policemen there, I didn’t see 500 policemen,’ he said. ‘When the event said there were 700 security, I didn’t see 700 security – I saw children running through their gates trampling each other, that’s what I saw.’
The eighth and final victim of the hellish event – 23-year-old Madison Dubiski – was identified on Monday.
Scott says he’ll cover the funeral costs for the eight people killed during the violent crowd surge at his festival as he’s hit with a slew of lawsuits from surviving victims who accuse him of causing ‘extreme distress’.
One witness described the show as a ‘floor of bodies’ and fans were screaming to ‘stop the show’
The eighth and final fatality at Travis Scott’s Astroworld concert has been identified as Madison Dubiski, 23, of Cypress
A number of injury lawyers, including famed civil rights attorney Ben Crump, are claiming that Scott, Live Nation and other parties behind the festival failed to provide the necessary security measures to prevent the stampede.
As 11 more lawsuits poured in on Monday, Scott pledged to cover all funeral costs and announced that he will be partnering with BetterHelp to supply free one-on-one online therapy to any concertgoers impacted by the tragic events at Astroworld. He will also refund the cost of all tickets.
But attendees and their lawyers, including Crump – who is representing Noah Gutierrez, 21 – said that the tragedy was ‘years in the making’ because of a history of injuries reported at Scott’s performances, including three hospitalizations at the same event in 2019.
A number of injury lawyers, including famed civil rights attorney Ben Crump, are claiming that Scott, Live Nation and other parties behind the festival failed to provide the necessary security measures to prevent the stampede
Crump tweeted one TikTok video showing members of the crowd scream for the show to stop
He shared another video of a woman climbing a stage ladder and screaming to a stage hand that people were dying in the crowd
The lawsuits also allege that Scott kept singing for more than 30 minutes despite numerous deaths, injuries and screams from fans for the show to stop.
‘We are hearing horrific accounts of the terror and helplessness people experienced, the horror of a crushing crowd and the awful trauma of watching people die while trying to save them,’ Crump said in a statement.
Meanwhile, more than 10,000 people have signed a petition attempting to block the rapper from performing as a headliners at the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival in California next April.
Crump set up a designated website for anyone else traumatized by the experience to reach out for legal assistance, which could be found at astroworldclaimshelp.com.
‘We will be pursuing justice for all our clients who were harmed in this tragic and preventable event,’ he added.
Thousands of people have signed a Change.org petition aimed at blocking the rapper’s upcoming festival performances
Crump set up a designated website for anyone else traumatized by the experience to reach out for legal assistance
Amid his lawsuits, the attorney tweeted one TikTok video showing members of the crowd scream for the show to stop and another of a woman climbing a stage ladder and screaming to a stage hand that people were dying in the crowd.
One tweet was captioned, ‘Crowd desperately chanting ‘stop the show’ and waving their hands in the air in an attempt to stop the Astroworld festival! If you know anyone who’s been affected by this horrifying event, reach out ASAP.’
And another read, ‘WOW. A young girl climbed a ladder to beg staff to stop the Astroworld fest & help attendees with what we now know were DOZENS of medical emergencies & deaths! Please reach out if you or a loved one has suffered from this devastating event!’
In addition to Crump’s lawsuit, which is just the latest in a slew of festival-related complaints, Scott is also facing disapproval from the public.
As of Monday night, than 10,000 people had signed a Change.org petition aimed at blocking the rapper’s upcoming Coachella performance.
The petition – directed at Coachella organizers AEG, Paul Tollet and Goldenvoice – cites the Astroworld tragedy and Scott’s alleged negligence as reason to remove him from the concert line-up.
‘With the recent tragic and unnecessary death at Travis Scott’s Astroworld concert, due to Scott’s own gross negligence and sheer lack of compassion for human life, we ask AEG, Paul Tollet, and Goldenvoice to remove his as performer at all of their festivals,’ the petition reads.
The petition also demands that Scott be removed from next weekend’s Day N Vegas Festival.
The festival organizers have not publicly responded to the petition.
Meanwhile, Houston lawyer Sean Roberts filed seven lawsuits on Monday on behalf of various survivors. Each claims that Scott and Live Nation failed to provide adequate security, a contingency plan and the necessary conditions to prevent the environment that led to the fatalities and injuries, according to TMZ, which obtained a copy of the suits.
Roberts, who listed that each client was ‘seriously and permanently injured,’ is suing for negligence, and wants an unspecified amount in damages for each of his clients.
Ryan MacLeod, another attorney taking legal action, said his client is dealing with extreme distress on multiple fronts, CNN reported. MacLeod told the news outlet, ‘There’s the physical pain, but even kind of greater… is the emotional trauma from this, the emotional scarring, that sort of silent pain.’
He said that his client was ‘trapped’ in the crowd and ‘felt like he was drowning’ and like he ‘couldn’t breathe.’
‘Then, he was trampled and there was a hero, as many of these concertgoers turned out to be, who was able to lift him and get him out to safety,’ he added.
MacLeod cited casualties reported at Scott’s shows dating back to 2015, when Scott was hit with misdemeanour charges after a violent stampede at Lollapalooza in Chicago.
The lawyer said, ‘This was years in the making. Travis Scott and his promoters know very well from at least 2015, Travis has been arrested for inciting violence. Oftentimes when there’s a mosh pit at one of his concerts, he will proudly say this isn’t a mosh pit unless someone’s getting hurt.’
While Scott maintains that he wasn’t aware of the tragedy until after performing, MacLeod insists that the music should have stopped sooner. He said, ‘During the concert, even when first responders are trying to respond, he continues the concert. It’s disgusting. It’s despicable. We’re better than this as humans.’
MacLeod added, ‘If you have a pulse and you’re alive, as Travis Scott was that night, and you’ve got the microphone in your hand and you’re in charge and you identify that there’s a life and death… and you don’t stop? You are putting profits over safety… CPR was literally being administered while he’s still singing… that cannot ever happen again.’
Manuel Souza, another concertgoer, filed a suit with the law firm Kherkher Garcia and seeks $1,000,000 in monetary relief alleging that he ‘suffered serious bodily injuries when the uncontrolled crowd at the concert knocked him to the ground and trampled him.’
Kristian Paredes, 23, from Austin, Texas, filed the complaint obtained by DailyMail.com Sunday. Drake, right, was called on stage by Travis Scott for a surprise appearance
Steve Kherkher, Souza’s attorney, told CNN that the ‘Defendants failed to properly plan and conduct the concert in a safe manner. Instead, they consciously ignored the extreme risks of harm to concertgoers, and, in some cases actively encouraged and fomented dangerous behaviors.’
Yesterday, one concert-goer who says he was left ‘severely injured’ named Canadian rapper Drake in a lawsuit alongside Scott for ‘inciting the crowd.’
Kristian Paredes, 23, from Austin, Texas, filed the complaint obtained by DailyMail.com Sunday accusing the rappers, Live Nation and Harris County Sports and Convention Corporation of negligence.
How deadly chaos at Travis Scott concert unfolded
At around 2.15pm, before the concert, video showed hundreds of people rushing through barriers at a VIP security checkpoint and barging past security.
At least one person was injured in that afternoon scrum.
Houston Fire Chief Sam Pena said that he wasn’t aware of what caused the rush but said that any special precautions for this year’s festival ‘weren’t enough.’
Police Chief Troy Finner visited rapper Travis Scott before his set to express ‘concerns about the energy in the crowd,’ according to the The New York Times.
Scott was due to perform at 9pm. A massive countdown timer came up 30 minutes before his set on a big screen.
ICU nurse Madeline Eskins said that the closer the timer got to zero, the worse the pressure within the crowd became.
‘People compressed up against each other and were pushing forward and backward,’ she told CNN.
Just after 9pm, Scott took to the stage to start his set which also included a surprise appearance by Drake.
By the time the rapper entered the stage people had already started to pass out.
At 9.30pm, officials received the first reports of injuries, Pena said.
At around 9.30pm, an ambulance made its way into the crowd, taking 10 minutes to reach the patient.
Video footage, which has since been deleted, shows two men who appear to be part of Scott’s entourage approach him on stage.
‘Y’all know what you came to do,’ Scott said, turning to the crowd, before the music started up again.
He then asked the tens of thousands in front of him to make ‘the ground shake.’
At 9.38pm, a ‘mass casualty event’ was declared, the fire chief said.
Scott maintains he was not aware of the severity of what was happening but he did stop the show on at least three occasions to ask that stricken people get help.
At around 10.10pm, the performance was finally halted.
According to the complaint, Drake ‘came on stage alongside Travis Scott and helped incite the crowd.’
He accuses Drake of continuing to perform with Scott ‘as the crowd became out of control’ and ‘ while the crowd mayhem continued.’
Paredes is now seeking over $1million for his bodily injuries, some of which he claims is permanent, as well as to cover medical expenses.
He says he felt an ‘immediate push’ as the countdown to Travis Scott’s performance ended and he entered the stage around 9pm.
‘The crowd became chaotic and a stampede began leaving eight dead and dozens including Kristian Paredes severely injured,’ the filing states.
‘Many begged security guards hired by Live Nation Entertainment for help, but were ignored,’ it says.
In preparation for Friday night’s concert, Houston bolstered the police force with more officers in the months leading up to it, while Live Nation, the organizers, hired additional private security.
Friday’s deaths raised eyebrows over footage showing multiple incidents of crowds stampeding towards Scott at prior performances at Lollapalooza in Chicago in 2015 and at an outdoor venue in Arkansas in 2017.
Both incidents resulted in misdemeanor convictions for Scott. A fan, who was paralyzed after falling from a balcony during a Scott concert in 2017, has also blasted the singer for putting fans’ safety at risk.
Investigators are now examining the design of the security barriers, the use of crowd control and other safety measures from this year’s festival to determine what led to the violent stampede that killed eight people and injured hundreds more.
Investigators are planning to use videos, witness interviews and a review of concert procedures to ascertain what led to the deadly disaster.
In addition to examining the security barriers and measures, investigators are also trying to determine if there was another factor or event that incited the chaos aside from Scott taking the stage.
Steven Adelman is the vice president of the industry group Event Safety Alliance, which was formed after the collapse of a stage at the Indiana State Fair in 2011 killed seven people. He helped write industry guidelines widely used today and said in an interview with Fox News, ‘Security obviously was unable to stop people. Optically, that’s really bad-looking. But as for what it tells us, it’s too early to say.’
Officials are also looking at the event’s security plan and various permits issued to organizers to assess whether they were adequately followed, the news outlet reported.
Many local officials were aware of the dangers the festival posed and Houston Police Chief Troy Finner recently revealed that he visited Travis Scott his trailer to discuss crowd control just hours before he took to the stage.
Finner, who knows Scott and felt that he had been trying to do good for his hometown, visited the musician in his trailer before the show on Friday.
He told the megastar that he was concerned about ‘the energy in the crowd,’ a source told The New York Times.
Rappers Travis Scott and Drake (pictured at the musical festival) are being sued for ‘inciting the crowd’ by a man who claims he was left ‘severely injured’ in the crowd on Friday night
Houston bolstered the police force with more officers in the months leading up to the concert, while Live Nation, the organizers, hired additional private security.
But that didn’t prevent dozens of fans rushing through security barriers around the venue on Friday night before the festival started.
The show was called off 30 minutes before schedule, but half an hour after a ‘mass casualty event’ had already been declared by the fire department.
Fire Chief Samuel Peña said on Sunday that Scott and the organizers could have stepped in and paused the show.
‘The one person who can really call for and get a tactical pause when something goes wrong is that performer. They have that bully pulpit and they have a responsibility,’ Chief Peña told the NYT.
‘If somebody would have said, ‘Hey, shut this thing down and turn on the lights until this thing gets corrected’ — and that coming from the person with the mic — I think could have been very helpful.’
Scott and Live Nation have declined to comment on the specifics but say they are co-operating with the police investigation.
Scott has since pledged to refund all 50,000 attendees who bought tickets to Astroworld. He was set to perform at another festival this Saturday, but sources told Variety that he will no longer appear because he is ‘too distraught to play.’
The rapper had a headline appearance scheduled for the Day N Vegas Festival at the Las Vegas Festival Grounds, a general-admission event featuring several artists where fans rush to the front of the stage on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Scott was scheduled for the main stage, called the Frank Stage, from 10.45 p.m. to 11.45 p.m., following performances from Lil Baby and Doja Cat.
Police investigating the deadly crush say a crazed man injected at least one person with opioids during the chaos.
Chief Finner made the shocking claim at a press conference Saturday after hours of rumors about the Astroworld Fest tragedy, and Mayor of Houston Sylvester Turner revealed the victims were aged between 14 and 27.
‘One of the narratives was that some individual was injecting other people with drugs. We do have a report of a security officer, according to the medical staff that was out and treated him last night,’ Finner said at Saturday’s conference.
‘He was reaching over to restrain or grab a citizen and he felt a prick in his neck.
‘He went unconscious, they administered Narcan. He was revived, and medical staff did notice a prick similar to a prick you would get if somebody was trying to inject,’ he added.
It is unclear what drug was injected into the security guard, although Narcan is used to revive people who’ve overdosed on opioids, including fentanyl.
Police chief Troy Finner (holding a press conference on Saturday), who knows Scott and felt that he had been trying to do good for his hometown, visited the musician in his trailer before the show on Friday. He told the megastar that he was concerned about ‘the energy in the crowd,’ a source told The New York Times.
The surge happened at 9.15pm and fire Chief Pena said in a news conference on Saturday afternoon that the ‘mass casualty incident’ was declared at 9.15pm. Nearly an hour later, at 10.10pm, the concert producer Live Nation halted the show.
Mayor Turner then confirmed that of the eight who were killed two were under 18, two were 21, two were 23, one was 27 and one victim’s age remains unknown.
He also said that 25 people in total were transported to the hospital after the ‘tragic event’ and 13 are still hospitalized, including five that are under the age of 18.
Turner released a statement on Saturday sending condolences to the families of those who died in the tragedy and noted that the city with be meeting with all parties involved in the festival to determine how the crowd could have gotten so out of control.
‘This was a major event that happened in the city and on Harris County property,’ he wrote. ‘Today, law enforcement will speak with concert promoters and witnesses and review videos available from the event and inside the festival venue.
Turner added, ‘I have called for a detailed briefing from all stakeholders, including Live Nation, Harris County, NRG Park, Police, Fire, Office of Emergency Management, and other agencies, explaining how the event got out of control leading to the deaths and injuries of several attendees.’
Mayor Turner said the investigation remains active with the police department’s homicide and narcotics team, adding that the local government is also speaking with spokespeople from the concert’s producer Live Nation Worldwide and Live Nation Entertainment.
‘We will probably be at it for quite some time to determine exactly what happened,’ Turner said.
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