A 22-year-old student, Bharti Shahani, has become the ninth person to die after being caught up in a crowd surge at the Astroworld Festival (cap. 50,000) in Houston, Texas, on 5 November.
Houston TV station KTRK reported Shahani died late on Wednesday from critical injuries sustained at the event. Another festivalgoer, nine-year-old Ezra Bloun, remains hospitalized and is showing no brain activity, according to reports.
Ini response to the tragedy, Texas governor Greg Abbott has announced the creation of a state-wide task force for concert safety. Led by Texas Music Office director Brendon Anthony, the Texas Task Force on Concert Safety will consist of music industry stakeholders, law enforcement officials, state agencies, and safety consultants who will explore ways in which to improve safety at concerts and festivals.
“Live music is a source of joy, entertainment, and community for so many Texans — and the last thing concertgoers should have to worry about is their safety and security,” said Abbott in a statement. “From crowd control strategies to security measures to addressing controlled substances, this task force will develop meaningful solutions that will keep Texans safe while maximising the joy of live music events.”