New York Daily News: By Peter Sblendorio – As the horrific stampede at rapper Travis Scott’s Astroworld Festival unfolded Friday, a former Marine who was in attendance remembers focusing on not falling down.
“When people started tripping, it was just one of those where it would be physically impossible for you to get out of that… If you fell, you were just screwed,” Lucas Naccarati told People.
The shocking scene at NRG Park in Houston left eight people dead and dozens more injured after massive crowds started pushing toward the stage for Scott’s headlining performance.
The 26-year-old Naccarati lost his shoes amid the mayhem, and says he performed CPR on a woman who passed out after screaming, “Please, I don’t want to die.”
“I grabbed her from the back and under her armpits. And I just squeezed her and I was like, ‘Please calm down, it will be okay.’ She just fainted, she just passed out,” Naccarati told People, adding that she eventually regained consciousness.
He later attempted to save another concert-goer, but ultimately had to stop to avoid injury as the crowd raged on, Naccarati said.
“The guy’s eyes were just completely rolled back, and his lips were just dark,” Naccarati told the magazine. “He was just bleeding and muddy. I was trying to talk to him, but he had no pulse. I started doing CPR on him, and I did that for about a minute, a minute and a half, but he was not responding to anything. He was just completely lifeless.”
Authorities are now investigating what caused the chaos.
Witnessing or experiencing situations where there’s a potential for serious injury or death can often lead to emotional trauma, Dr. Michael Roeske, executive director at Newport Healthcare, told the Daily News.
“The traumatizing piece is often when there’s not a way to get out of it, when you’re helpless in that scenario,” Roeske explained.
“Certainly there’s analogs to war in that situation,” he said. “I’m sure all the people that were in the crowd there felt there was no escape, there was no ready way to help save themselves and the people that they were with, so that certainly would contribute to a greater likelihood of traumatization or more persistent symptoms, especially for people who have a history of anxiety or depression.”
Scott, 30, said he’s refunding the ticket cost for each of the 50,000 people who attended the festival, and vowed to pay for the funeral expenses of those killed at the event.
“I’m absolutely devastated by what took place last night,” Scott said Saturday. “My prayers go out to the families and all those impacted by what happened at Astroworld Festival.”