Police have launched an investigation after at least eight people died during a crowd surge at a music festival in Texas.
At least eight people – including a 14-year-old – died and around 300 were injured in a crush at the Astroworld Festival on Friday night.
“"We do have a report of a security officer, according to the medical staff that was out and treated him last night, that he was reaching over to restrain or grab a citizen and he felt a prick in his neck," he said.
"When he was examined he went unconscious. They administered Narcan. He was revived and the medical staff did notice a prick that was similar to a prick that you would get if somebody is trying to inject."
Houston Fire Chief Samuel Peña vowed to thoroughly examine video footage to find out what caused the surge.
Rapper Travis Scott said he was “devastated” by the traumatic incident.
In a statement posted on social media, he said: “I’m absolutely devastated by what took place last night. My prayers go out to the families and all those impacted by what happened at Astroworld Festival.
“Houston PD has my total support as they continue to look into the tragic loss of life.
“I am committed to working together with the Houston community to heal and support the families in need.”
Houston Fire Chief Samuel Pena gave an early morning news conference outside NRG Park.
He said at around 9pm the crowd that had gathered for a performance by Scott began to push toward the front of the stage, causing panic and injuries.
People began to fall unconscious, and the mayhem escalated until 9:38pm when a “mass casualty incident” was triggered, he said.
A 10-year-old is believed to have been among those injured during the incident.
It was not yet clear what caused the disaster.
Disturbing footage on social media shows medical professionals performing CPR to motionless attendees.
In one such clip, an ambulance was seen pulling up even as the crowd continued to sway their arms to the music.
“I think it’s very important that none of us speculate. Nobody has all the answers tonight,” Houston Police Chief Troy Finner said.
“If you don’t have facts, if you don’t have evidence, I’m not going to speak against that. We have hurting families out here.”
Live Nation, the event organizer, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The Houston Chronicle said Scott stopped multiple times during his 75-minute performance when he spotted fans in distress near the front of the stage.
He asked security to make sure they were OK and help them out of the crowd. Emergency vehicles, lights and alarms flashing, cut through the crowds several times.
Houston Police Executive Assistant Chief Larry Satterwhite was near the front of the crowd and said it seemed the surge “happened all at once.”
“Suddenly we had several people down on the ground, experiencing some type of cardiac arrest or some type of medical episode,” Satterwhite said. “And so we immediately started doing CPR, and moving people right then, and that’s when I went and met with the promoters, and Live Nation, and they agreed to end early in the interest of public safety.”
The fire department said on Twitter that a reunification center had been set up for families who had not heard from loved ones at the festival.
The second day of the festival has been cancelled.
The Houston Chronicle quoted Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo as calling it an “extremely tragic night.”
The festival was attended by high-profile celebrities including Kylie and Kendall Jenner.
A number of big name acts were set to feature including singer Sza, rapper 21 Savage and indie band Tame Impala, with tickets for general admission sold for $180 (around £133).
“(It’s) obviously a very extremely tragic night. Our hearts are broken,” Harris county judge Lina Hidalgo said.
“Tonight’s focus though needs to be on the families and on the lives that we’ve lost. Many of them extremely young, tragically young,” she added.
Houston-born Scott is a rapper who came to fame in the early 2010s for his unique vocal style. Astroworld is also the eponymous name of his third studio album released in 2018 to critical acclaim.
He and Kylie Jenner, from the famed Kardashian family, have a daughter.
Drake joined Scott on-stage at the concert — which was live-streamed by Apple Music — and posted photos to Instagram after the performance.
The deadly surge was the most deaths at a US concert since the 2003 Station nightclub fire that killed 100 people in Rhode Island.
Eleven people died and about two dozen were injured in 1979 at a concert for The Who as thousands of fans tried to get into Cincinnati’s riverfront coliseum.