Astroworld: Student Bharti Shahani, 22, becomes ninth person to die at Houston festival

·2-min read
Visitors look at the memorial outside of the canceled Astroworld festival at NRG Park (Getty Images)
Visitors look at the memorial outside of the canceled Astroworld festival at NRG Park (Getty Images)

A 22-year-old student who was critically injured at the Astroworld festival in Houston has died, the family’s lawyer said, making her the ninth person to die at the event.

Bharti Shahani died on Wednesday, lawyer James Lassiter said during a news conference.

“Bharti was a shining star in the community,” Mr Lassiter said.

“She was a sister, a daughter, a high-achieving college student about to graduate from Texas A&M University with high, high grades.”

It comes just 24 hours after medics said she had shown no brain activity as she fought for her life on a ventilator. Her cousin Mohit Bellani said they had to “fight to come up to the top and breathe” after becoming caught in the stampede.

Mr Bellani added: “Once one person fell, people started toppling like dominos. It was like a sinkhole. People were falling on top of each other.

“There were like layers of bodies on the ground, like two people thick. We were fighting to come up to the top and breathe to stay alive.”

Hundreds of others were injured in the surge on Friday night as headliner Travis Scott took to the stage. Authorities last week began a criminal investigation into the fatalities at the festival - but have not yet assigned any fault.

Scott was just minutes into his headline performance just after 9pm when at least one Houston officer radioed over a police channel that a huge crowd had surged towards the main stage.

Hundreds of other fans were injured as a mass of bodies pressed toward the stage, and nearly a week later, at least two were still in critical condition. They include a nine-year-old boy who has been placed in a medically induced coma.

Scott continued to perform his set, which lasted about an hour. HIs lawyers have said he did not know about the tragedy unfolding in the crowd until after the show.

“Investigations should start proceeding over finger-pointing so that together, we can identify exactly what transpired and how we can prevent anything like this from happening again,” lawyer Edwin F. McPherson said in a statement.

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