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Experts explain why the Astroworld crowd surge may have happened

Why a crowd surge is so difficult to stop
Posted at 5:55 AM, Nov 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-15 06:58:57-05

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Crowd surges like the one at Astroworld Music Festival on Nov. 5 are extremely difficult to prevent and stop, according to event management experts.

It's unclear what caused the incident but Houston police continue to investigate.

Texas attorney Ben Crump, who is representing some of the victims held a conference on Friday to announce the filing of more than 100 lawsuits against concert organizers, headliner rapper Travis Scott and festival promoters.

"We will not let them get away with this," Crump said. "There will be accountability and we're going to make them have changes in the industry."

One of his clients spoke out to share her experience at the concert.

"There's discussions about it in person and online about what people in the crowd should have done and saying, well, if you were in the crowd and you noticed someone dying around you, why didn't you help," said Uniqua Smith, who attended the Astroworld Festival. "I'm not a licensed medical professional. The only thing that I could think about was me not falling on top of this woman and crushing her to death."

Yuliana Zaikman, an assistant professor at the Psychology and Sociology Department at Texas A&M University- Corpus Christi, says the number of people in a crowd also plays a factor.

"When you have more people witnessing a certain event that potentially would require assistance or help and there less likely to help compared to if one person was witnessing the event," Zaikman said.

The executive director of the National Association of State Fire Marshals tells NBC News the danger can be worse at night, when crowd density is more difficult to see.

Travis Scott has already lost millions of dollars in canceled events and lawsuits filed against him and promoter Live Nation are asking for damages of more than half a billion dollars.