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‘Pure fear’: Canadian teen describes chaos at deadly Astroworld festival

By Tom Yun

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    TORONTO (CTV Network) — A Canadian teen who attended the deadly Astroworld Festival in Houston is sharing his experience at the concert after he was nearly trampled.

Evan Pond, a 16-year-old from Simcoe, Ont., said from the very start of the festival, he had an “unsettling” feeling about the venue’s security protocols.

“I got to the venue at 4 a.m. on Friday when the festival started. From the very get-go, I had weird feeling to begin with,” he told CTV News Channel Tuesday.

Pond said there were only around a dozen security guards while the fans were waiting for the NRG Park to open. When the venue opened at 9 a.m., the crowd rushed the gates. Video footage taken at the venue gates show crowds of people stampeding past the metal detectors and the fences.

“It was at that point where I noticed… I felt like (the security guards) stopped trying,” he said.

While watching rapper Travis Scott perform later that evening, Pond noticed a crowd of people arriving after another artist had finished their set at a different part of the park.

That’s when Pond began to feel crushed by the crowd and fell down to the ground, nearly getting trampled.

“When one person pushes, it kind of moves and shifts the whole crowd. There’s this big ‘wave effect,’ I’d almost call it,” he said.

Around him, Pond saw several other attendees coughing up blood, vomiting or passed out on the ground.

“It was honestly pure fear and sadness. I was kind of in shock. I didn’t really believe it was going on,” he said.

While he was down and trapped in the crowd, Pond said he felt his breathing slowing down, but another concertgoer was able to pick him up.

“It’s terrible to think about it, but if I didn’t get up when I did, I feel like I might have died,” he said.

Eight people, whose ages ranged between 14 and 27, were killed at the festival and dozens more were injured.

A US$1 million lawsuit has been filed against Scott, Canadian rapper Drake, Live Nation and officials at Harris County Sports and Convention Corporation. Pond feels that the organizers should be held responsible.

“I feel like everyone could have played a better part. I feel like everyone should be held responsible for it,” he said.

Please note: This content carries a strict local market embargo. If you share the same market as the contributor of this article, you may not use it on any platform.

Sonja Puzic
sonja.puzic@bellmedia.ca

Article Topic Follows: CNN - Regional

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