Cause of Death Astroworld Festival Victims Released

( The ten victims who died at Travis Scott’s Astroworld festival in November all died due to compression asphyxia, according to the recently-released medical examiner’s report.

Compression asphyxia is when respiration is prevented due to external pressure on the body.

Initially, it was believed that some of the victims died of drug-related causes, however, the report released last Thursday by the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences in Houston determined that only one victim had a contributory cause of “combined toxic effects of cocaine, methamphetamine, and ethanol.”

All ten victims were killed when the crowd attending the event surged toward the stage. Witnesses described people getting trampled under the pressure of the surging crowd.

Dr. George Williams from UT Health Houston said the victims would have to sustain hundreds of pounds of force outside of the chest to suffer compression asphyxia. The pressure would force the chest to empty of air while preventing the victim’s chest from expanding to draw in breath.

When standing in such proximity, all it takes is for one person to fall and a domino effect occurs, Williams explained. One person pushes someone else down, then another person and another. Then all that weight ends up piled on top of “just a few people.”

The ME’s report was released more than a month after the tragedy in which hundreds were injured as the crowd rushed the stage during the first night of the multi-day Astroworld music festival.

The youngest victim, 9-year-old Ezra Blount who was taken to the concert with his father, fought for his life for days while in a medically-induced coma at Texas Children’s hospital before dying from his injuries. Both Ezra and his father Treston were crushed by the surging crowd, however, Treston survived.

With the release of the medical examiner’s report, the attorney representing one of the victims lashed out at Houston Police Chief Troy Finner who initially claimed that the victims had been injected with drugs. Tony Buzbee, who is representing the family of Axel Acosta, said Finner added credence to “a silly rumor” that only caused more pain for the victims’ families.