astroworld

Astroworld victims died from compression asphyxia, according to medical records

Examiners said that one victim had traces of cocaine, methamphetamine and ethanol that contributed to his death.

Lucio Vasquez / Houston Public Media
Candles are left outside NRG Park, the site of the deadly Astroworld musical festival in Houston.

The 10 people who lost their lives during a crowd surge at Travis Scott’s Astroworld music festival died from compression asphyxia, according to medical records released Thursday.

Autopsies were conducted by the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences and finalized this week, determining the official cause of death as asphyxia. Examiners said that one victim had traces of cocaine, methamphetamine and ethanol that contributed to his death.

The Houston Police Department said on Twitter that a criminal investigation is ongoing.

Eight people died on the night of the concert: Mirza Baig, 27, of Houston; Rodolfo Peña, 23, from Laredo; Madison Dubiski, 23, from Cypress; Franco Patiño, 21, from Illinois; Jacob Jurinke, 20, from Illinois; John Hilgert, 14, from Houston; Axel Acosta, 21, from Washington; and Brianna Rodriguez, 16, from Houston.

Bharti Shahani, 22, and Ezra Blount, 9, died in the days that followed — bringing the total death toll to 10.

More than 300 lawsuits have been filed in the wake of Travis Scott’s Astroworld concert, including a $2 billion lawsuit filed on behalf of at least 282 victims.

“The report confirms what the family already knew, which is that Axel was crushed and killed that night by the crowd, through no fault of his own,” said Tony Buzbee, the attorney representing the Acosta family. “Axel Acosta's family looks forward now to presenting their case in court, in front of a jury, in the hopes that all those accountable are held legally responsible, and that a preventable tragedy like this never happens again.”

Buzbee also emphasized that Acosta’s body “contained absolutely no intoxicants or other like substances.”

Attorney James Lassiter, who is representing the family of Bharti Shahani, said the “findings confirm Bharti's family's worst fears."

"Their beloved daughter's last living moments were surely marked with suffering, panic, and terror," Lassiter said. “It's a horrific, inescapable image that no parent should have to endure. But that is the sad reality for the Shahanis and the nine other families that received this terrible news."

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