Travis Scott 'absolutely devastated' after eight people killed in crowd surge at rapper's show

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Rapper Travis Scott says he is "absolutely devastated" after at least eight people were killed in a crowd surge as he performed at a music festival in Texas.

In a message posted on social media, the musician said the police had his "total support as they continue to look into the tragic loss of life".

Officials declared a "mass casualty incident" during Scott's headline performance at Astroworld Festival in Houston on Friday.

Some of the 50,000-strong crowd "began to compress towards the front of the stage" while the rapper was performing on the opening night, fire chiefs said.

Scott, who founded the festival, stopped multiple times during his 75-minute set after spotting fans in distress near the front of the stage, and asked security to help people out of the crowd.

About 23 people were taken to hospital in a serious condition including 11 people who were critically injured, Houston fire chief Samuel Pena said.

One of those injured was just 10 years old.

In a statement released on Saturday, Scott 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 (police department) 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.

"Thank you to Houston PD, Fire Department and NRG Park for their immediate response and support.

"Love You All."

Scott - an eight-time Grammy Award nominee - has a three-year-old daughter with reality TV star Kylie Jenner, who is pregnant with their second child.

Hip-hop superstar Drake joined Scott on-stage at Friday's concert - which was live-streamed by Apple Music - and posted photos to Instagram after the performance.

As the disaster unfolded, footage on social media showed Scott stopping the show and asking for aid for someone in the audience, saying: "Security, somebody help real quick."

Describing what happened, Houston fire chief Samuel Pena said: "The crowd began to compress towards the front of the stage, and that caused some panic, and it started causing some injuries.

"People began to fall out, become unconscious, and it created additional panic."

The show was called off shortly thereafter.

About 300 people were examined at a field hospital set up at Houston's NRG Park.

Houston police official 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," Mr Satterwhite said.

Houston Police chief Troy Finner said there were "rumours of people injecting people (with) drugs," and it would be looked at as part of the investigation.

Artists such as SZA, Tame Impala and Earth, Wind & Fire were on the line-up for the two-day Astroworld Festival, which was a sell-out, according to its website.

Saturday's performances were cancelled following the disaster.

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