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Travis Scott performs during 2021 Astroworld Festival at NRG Park in Houston. Photo: Erika Goldring/WireImage

At least eight people were killed and hundreds more injured after a crowd at Houston's Astroworld music festival surged toward the stage Friday night, officials said.

Driving the news: The crowd surge, which officials described as a "mass casualty incident," happened just after 9pm local time as rapper Travis Scott performed. Houston fire chief Sam Peña said that people began to "compress toward the front of the stage, and that caused some panic" and overwhelmed security.

  • Police and security stopped the event "as soon as the situation got to the point where it was overwhelming the resources there," Peña said, but by then "the damage had been done."
  • Peña said about 50,000 people were believed to be in attendance at day one of the sold-out festival.
  • The festival runs from Friday through Sunday, but officials said the second night would be canceled, per CNN.

Details: More than 300 people were treated at a field hospital near NRG Park where the festival was held, according to Peña.

  • At least 23 people were taken to nearby hospitals, according to the fire chief. He also said that a 10-year-old patient was in critical condition at the last check.

What they're saying: "It seemed like it happened over the course of just a few minutes," said Houston Police Department executive assistant chief Larry Satterwhite, who was on duty at the event.

  • "Suddenly, we had several people down on the ground experiencing some type of cardiac arrest or some type of medical episode," he added.
  • "I started looking around and there's people on the ground, there's people looking at me like scared, eyes wild, like, 'please help me,'" Alleighya Odom, a concertgoer, told NBC. "There's people behind me crying because they're being stepped on."
  • "Nobody could dream of this. But we're here, and I think it's very important that none of us speculate. Nobody has all the answers tonight," Houston police chief Troy Finner said.
  • Scott posted to Twitter on Saturday that he was "absolutely devastated" by what took place and that he would work with the "Houston community to heal and support the families in need.”
  • Gov. Greg Abbott said in a statement on Saturday, “What happened at Astroworld Festival last night was tragic, and our hearts are with those who lost their lives and those who were injured in the terrifying crowd surge.”

Editor's note: This story has been updated throughout.

Go deeper

Darrell Brooks identified as Waukesha parade crash suspect

Police and emergency personnel work at the scene of the crash on Nov. 21, 2021, in Waukesha, Wis. Photo: Jim Vondruska/Getty Images

Law enforcement officials have identified Darrell Brooks, 39, as the alleged driver of an SUV that plowed into a crowd gathered at a Christmas parade in Waukesha, Wisconsin, Sunday evening.

The big picture: Waukesha Police Chief Daniel Thompson said Monday that the driver killed five people and injured at least 48 others, adding that officials "are confident he acted alone" and there was no evidence of terrorism.

Storms pummel flood-hit Pacific Northwest as border river overflows

An image of the water-logged Sumas Prairie area taken last Friday. Photo: B.C. Ministry of Transportation/Twitter.

The latest ferocious storm system to hit the Pacific Northwest triggered fresh evacuation orders and at least one mudslide in flood-ravaged British Columbia, Canada, late Sunday.

Threat level: Flood sirens sounded in Washington state as the Nooksack River overflowed. Henry Braun, mayor of Abbotsford, B.C., told reporters the water flow was headed toward the Canadian border city later Sunday. "There's nothing to stop it," he said.

Updated 5 hours ago - Health

First North American Omicron cases identified in Canada

COVID-19 testing personnel at Toronto Pearson International Airport in September. Photo: Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images

The first two cases of the new Omicron variant have been detected in North America, the Canadian government announced Sunday evening.

Driving the news: The World Health Organization has named Omicron a "variant of concern," but cautioned earlier on Sunday that it is not yet clear whether it's more transmissible than other strains of COVID-19.