Nine-year-old Ezra Blount became the youngest victim of the crowd surge at rapper Travis Scott’s Astroworld concert that took place on November 5. Blount, who was on life-support for six days, died on Sunday.
He had attended the concert along with his father, Treston Blount. Speaking to ABC13, the father said he had his son on his shoulder and had stood at the rear of the crowd, where he expected it to be calmer. However, people started pushing after Scott took the stage and he soon lost consciousness while Ezra fell to the ground and was trampled.
After Treston regained consciousness, he could not find his son and approached the medics present. Unable to find his son, he filed a police report after which Ezra was located at a hospital, where he was on life support with a swollen brain and damage to his major organs.
Around 17 people were rushed to the hospital due to the crowd surge at Scott’s Astroworld Festival in Houston on November 5. More than 300 people were treated for minor injuries at the site of the tragedy.
Alex Pollak, CEO of ParaDocs, the medical team comprising over 70 members, that was hired for Astroworld, told CNN that the team had to treat 11 people with cardiac arrest at the same time.
“Seeing so many young people getting CPR at one time, it’s just something no one should have to go through. Even though we’re medical professionals, and should be used it, you can’t get used to something like that,” said Pollak. He added that the concert should have been stopped sooner, but also noted that an abrupt halt could have caused a riot.
Eight people died the night of the event, while Indian-American student Bharti Shahani succumbed to her injuries and became the ninth victim on Thursday.
With Blount’s passing, the death toll from the event now stands at 10.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the event’s 56-page operations plan included protocols for various dangerous scenarios, including an active shooter, bomb or terrorist threats, and severe weather, but failed to expand on measures to deal with a crowd surge or stampede.
Multiple lawsuits have been filed against Scott. Fellow rapper Drake, who also performed at the concert, and entertainment company Live Nation have been mentioned in a few of these suits.
Scott, who founded the festival, announced that he would pay for the funerals of the victims who died, and offered full refunds for the tickets, apart from an online therapy service in partnership with BetterHelp.
The rapper is said to have a past of unruly behaviour at his shows, including concerts in 2015 and 2017 that resulted in his arrest for disorderly conduct and inciting riots, respectively.