Sunday, April 14, 2024

US rapper Travis Scott facing legal action


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Washington – United States rapper Travis Scott is facing legal action after at least eight people were killed and hundreds injured in a crush at his Texas festival Astroworld.

One injured concertgoer has accused Scott and surprise performer Drake of inciting the crowd, and is seeking $1m (£741 000) in damages.

Neither have commented on the lawsuit.

In a statement following the crush, Scott said he was working to help the families of the victims – the youngest of whom was just 14.

Meanwhile, tributes have been paid on social media to those killed.

“Dancing was her passion and now she is dancing her way to heaven’s pearly gates,” the family of 16-year-old Brianna Rodriguez said in a statement.

The surge began at about 21:15 local time on Friday (02:15 GMT Saturday), when panic broke out as the crowd pressed towards the front of the stage during Scott’s headline set.

Lucas Naccarati told BBC Radio 5 Live that within three minutes of the rapper coming on stage, he “was pretty sure people [were] going to be dying”.

“You couldn’t move, you couldn’t scratch your own face, [that’s how] tight it was,” he said.

According to a report in the New York Times, Houston police chief Troy Finner personally visited Scott’s trailer to express “concerns about the energy of the crowd” ahead of the performance.

The city’s fire chief, Samuel Peña, was quoted by the Times as saying that Scott and the event’s organisers could have intervened.

“The one person who can really call for and get a tactical pause when something goes wrong is the performer,” Peña said. “They have that bully pulpit and they have a responsibility.”

Police in the Texas city have launched an investigation, including looking into separate reports that somebody in the audience was injecting people with drugs.

Several concertgoers had to be revived with anti-drug overdose medicine, including a security officer who police said appeared to have an injection mark in his neck.

Local police declined to confirm or deny the Times report or offer details on the drug investigation to the BBC.

Speaking at an unrelated news conference on Monday, FBI Director Christopher Wray said that while local authorities are leading the investigation, the bureau is providing “technical assistance”.


What do the lawsuits say?


One suit filed by 23-year-old attendee Kristian Paredes accuses Scott and Drake of inciting “a riot and violence”, and claims the venue and entertainment company Live Nation failed to provide adequate security and medical services.

The suit, seeking $1m in damages, says Paredes “felt an immediate push” at the front of the general admission section, before “the crowd became chaotic and a stampede began”. (BBC)


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