Astroworld concertgoers describe terrifying scene: ‘Dead bodies in front of us’

Timothy Perez and Joseph Gonzales, who attended the Astroworld Festival in Houston, recount the deadly concert stampede they witnessed

A Houston nurse who attended the deadly Astroworld concert on Friday said in an interview Saturday that she was “disturbed” by what happened at the show. 

“Nothing could have prepared me for what I saw,” Madeline Eskins told FOX 26 Houston, noting that she works in a hospital’s intensive-care unit, where she’s accustomed to “seeing people die every week.”

“It was absolutely insane,” she said of the disaster. “I’ve never seen anything like that in my life. I am disturbed.” 

A crowd surge at rapper Travis Scott’s annual festival in his native Houston left at least eight people dead. Eskers said she attended the same event in 2018 and 2019 and the crowd usually moves forward in excitement but this year was different. 

This time, as the crowd began to crush toward the stage, Eskins said, she was going to ask her boyfriend to tell her son she loved him because “it got to the point where I was like ‘I’m going to die.’”

“I really, truly thought that I was going to get crushed to the point where my trachea was going to get crushed, my chest. I thought I was going to die.”

“I really, truly thought that I was going to get crushed to the point where my trachea was going to get crushed, my chest. I thought I was going to die.”

The Astroworld music festival in Houston was rocked by the deaths of eight attendees on Friday night.
(Associated Press)

Even before the surge, she said, the crowd was so tight she couldn’t even turn her head and it was getting hard to breathe. 

“I was trying to jump up and lift my head up so I could get air.” 

She told her boyfriend at that point, “‘We have to get out,’ and he said, ‘We can’t.” 

Soon after, she fainted and her boyfriend, with help, “basically crowd-surfed” her unconscious body to security. After passing out again, she woke up in a VIP area with a bottle of water, she said, adding that the security guard who left her there had gone back to the crowd to rescue more people. 

The crowd watches as Travis Scott performs at Astroworld Festival at NRG Park on Friday, Nov.  5, 2021, in Houston. 
(Associated Press)

Once she had recovered, she told the station she went back to help those injured because of her nursing experience.  

Eskins said she saw several people having CPR performed on them, but there seemed to be confusion about how to handle the situation. 

“There were no pulse checks going on. It was madness,” she said. She told the station she didn’t think the concert had enough security or medical staff for the size of the crowd, which officials estimated at about 50,000 people. 

While all this was happening, she said, the concert was still going on – until eventually being stopped – and some attendees were still filming the concert and them as they worked to keep people alive. 

Eskins said she was “disappointed” in how the incident was handled and that the medical staff wasn’t “truly medial staff. … Some of them had little to no experience in this type of situation.” 

She called it a “death sentence” for anyone who hit the ground while the crowd was rushing forward. If her boyfriend had let her hit the ground, “I think that I would have been one of the people in the hospital or worse,” she added. “If you fell, you weren’t getting up.” 

Eskins added that she didn’t know any of the people she was working on but she hoped that “just at least one” of them made it out alive, noting that one of the patients she was doing CPR on hadn’t had a pulse for more than 15 minutes and had turned blue. 

“This was more terrifying than anything I’ve ever seen,” she told the station. 

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