The president of the Houston Professional Fire Fighter Association said the district fire chief was denied access into the venue where the Astroworld Festival was being held prior to the event taking place.
On Thursday (Nov. 11), Patrick Lancton said the division fire chief of Station 21, whose station was the closest to NRG Park, stopped by the venue the morning of Nov. 5 to get a “lay of the land,” according to CNN. “As with any big, large-scale event, he took a ride over and said, ‘Hey, let’s check everything out,’” Lancton said. “In the city of Houston, a district fire chief is usually over three or four stations.”
He added, “When a response is required in his area, he is the first to respond. He would be the one taking command if something happened and determine what resources are needed.”
Lancton said that the fire chief was first denied access into the area by security. He then requested to speak with the head of security — who also declined to give him access. Instead, the fire chief was only given a map of the venue. Lancton also stated that the lack of emergency personnel at the Astroworld Festival was “absolutely a problem.”
“What that really means is that whoever put the event on hired a third party medical company … to handle any emergencies that are happening on the inside,” he told CNN.
On Nov. 5, eight people were killed and hundreds injured when a crowd of more than 50,000 people surged toward the stage during Travis Scott’s performance, leaving many people unable to move or breathe. Two people, including a 9-year-old boy and a 22-year-old college student, are currently hospitalized on life support.
So far, over 40 lawsuits have been filed against the “Highest In The Room” rapper, Live Nation and others alleging negligence. One suit described Scott as “the violinist on the Titanic who played while the ship sank around him.”