Western Washington University student identified as victim in Astroworld Festival tragedy

Axel Acosta
Courtesy of ABC13

HOUSTON, Texas – A 21-year-old Western Washington University student died Friday night at a Travis Scott concert in Houston, the student’s family told KOMO News.

Edgar Acosta says his son Axel Acosta died at the Astroworld Festival.

Axel’s aunt, Cynthia Acosta told ABC13 that he had traveled to Houston by himself to see Travis Scott.

Axel turned 21 last month. He was studying computer science at WWU.

Western released a statement Sunday saying, “By all accounts, Axel was a young man with a vibrant future. We are sending our condolences to his family on this very sad day.”

The crowd at a Houston music festival suddenly surged toward the stage during a performance by rapper Travis Scott, squeezing fans so tightly together that they could not breathe or move their arms, witnesses said Saturday, hours after at least eight people died in the chaos.

The pandemonium unfolded Friday evening at Astroworld, a sold-out, two-day event in NRG Park with an estimated 50,000 people in attendance. As a timer clicked down to the start of the performance, the crowd pushed forward.

The dead ranged in age from 14 to 27, and 13 people were still hospitalized, Mayor Sylvester Turner said. He called the disaster “a tragedy on many different levels” and said it was too early to draw conclusions about what went wrong.

“It may well be that this tragedy is the result of unpredictable events, of circumstances coming together that couldn’t possibly have been avoided,” said Judge Lina Hidalgo, Harris County’s top elected official. “But until we determine that, I will ask the tough questions.”

Experts who have studied deaths caused by crowd surges say they are often a result of density — too many people packed into a small space. The crowd is often running either away from a perceived threat or toward something they want, such as a performer, before hitting a barrier.

For more, read the story on komonews.com >> https://komonews.com/news/local/wwu-student-identified-as-victim-in-astroworld-festival-tragedy

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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