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Astroworld victims died of compression asphyxia, coroner says

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  • Travis Scott
    Travis Scott
    American rapper

The victims of the Astroworld concert tragedy died from accidental compression asphyxia, according to the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences. Over 50,000 people attended the November 5 festival, where ten people died and hundreds were injured in the crowd surge.

Compression asphyxia was listed a cause of death for all ten victims. An additional cause of death for 27-year-old victim Mirza Danish Baig was listed as the combined effects of cocaine, methamphetamine and ethanol. 

Compression asphyxia, also known as traumatic asphyxia, occurs when external pressure is placed on the chest that prevents normal breathing and is often "associated with internal injuries," according to the National Library of Medicine

The youngest victim was 9-year-old Ezra Blount. According to a lawsuit filed by the Blount family, the boy was "kicked, stepped on, and trampled, and nearly crushed to death" in the crowd. 

As of December 9, at least 330 lawsuits have been filed against rapper and founder of the festival Travis Scott and concert promoter Live Nation, according to the Harris County District Clerk's office. Survivors and the families of victims have blamed Scott and the concert organizers for not stopping the event when people in the crowd began getting hurt. 

But in his first sit down interview since the incident, Scott told radio personality host Charlamagne Tha God that he didn't know fans were injured until after his set ended. 

"I didn't even know the exact detail until minutes before the press conference," Scott said. "At that moment, you're kinda just like, what? You just went through something and it's like, what? The thing Is — people pass out. Things happen at concerts. But something like that?"

Scott has said that he was "devastated" by the tragedy and offered to pay for the funerals of the victims, an offer a majority of families have turned down. 

"They're grieving and they're trying to find understanding. They want answers and it's not about that. I'm always going to be here to want to help them," Scott said. "I just wanted to make sure they knew that I was there."

The incident remains under investigation.

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