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Astroworld Festival tragedy: House committee looking into Live Nation's role

The House Committee on Oversight and Reform says they are concerned over whether the entertainment company took adequate steps to ensure festivalgoers safety.

HOUSTON — The House Committee on Oversight and Reform has requested information from Live Nation regarding the Astroworld Festival on Nov. 5. that left 10 people dead and hundreds injured.

The committee sent a letter Wednesday to Michael Rapino, the president and CEO of Live Nation, expressing concerns over whether the entertainment company took adequate steps to ensure the safety of festivalgoers at NRG Park.

“Recent reports raise serious concerns about whether your company took adequate steps to ensure the safety of the 50,000 concertgoers who attended Astroworld Festival,” the members of the committee wrote in their letter. “For instance, reports indicate that security and medical staff were inexperienced or ill-equipped to deal with mass injuries. Some attendees stated that the placement of barricades made it difficult to escape. Experts have stated that Astroworld Festival organizers failed to heed warning signs.”

READ THE LETTER: Tap here to read their full request.

The committee requested the information by Jan. 7, 2022, regarding the roles and responsibilities for Astroworld Festival, security planning for the event, and the steps Live Nation took after being made aware that law enforcement had declared the event a “mass casualty event.”

They also requested a briefing on these issues on Jan. 12, 2022.

“We are deeply saddened by the deaths that occurred at Astroworld Festival and are committed to investigating what went wrong to inform possible reforms that could prevent future tragedies,” the committee stated in their letter.

Live Nation officials said in a statement Wednesday that they planned to cooperate with the investigation.

"We are assisting local authorities in their investigation and will of course share information with the Committee as well. Safety is core to live events and Live Nation engages in detailed security planning in coordination with local stakeholders including law enforcement, fire and EMT professionals. We are heartbroken by the events at Astroworld and our deepest sympathies go out to the families and friends of the victims."

The victims who died during the festival all suffered from compression asphyxia, according to a report released on Dec. 16 by the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences.

Compression asphyxia occurs when air is cut off from the body due to external pressure, according to the National Library of Medicine.

RELATED: What is compression asphyxia? Houston doctor explains cause of death for Astroworld victims

What happened during Travis Scott's Astroworld Festival?

Houston Fire Chief Sam Peña said events started to escalate about 9:30 p.m. when a crowd surge took place during one of Travis Scott's performances.

People were trampled, some went unconscious, and at least a few went into cardiac arrest during the chaos. KHOU 11 talked to several witnesses who reported being pushed and shoved as the crowd of 50,000 festivalgoers rushed toward the stage.

It's been confirmed at least 300 concertgoers were treated on the scene, and 25 people were taken to the hospital with serious injuries. Eight people died that night.

Two others later died from injuries.

Multiple agencies, including Houston Police Department and the FBI, have opened investigations into the cause of the crowd surge and whether it could have been prevented.

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