State Watch

College student brain dead, 9-year-old in coma after Astroworld tragedy

A 22-year-old college student has been declared brain dead and a 9-year-old boy is in a medically induced coma following the fatal crowd surge at the Astroworld Festival over the weekend, ABC13 Houston and CNN reported Tuesday.

The young boy, named Ezra Blount, or EB, was reportedly placed in a coma at Texas Children’s Hospital in an attempt to help his brain overcome the trauma suffered during the incident.

Grandfather Bernon Blount told CNN that EB and EB’s father, Treston Blount, had attended the festival together. EB was on Treston Blount’s shoulders at the time of the crowd surge and ended up falling into the crowd when his father lost consciousness.

“During the event at the concert, he had cardiac arrest which damaged his heart,” Bernon Blount told CNN. “He has damage to the liver, his lungs … and on top of that, he has swelling on his brain.”

The boy’s family is now being represented by attorneys Ben Crump and Alex and Bob Hilliard.

“The suffering that this family is going through is immeasurable. This little boy had his whole life ahead of him — a life that is currently hanging in the balance because of the reckless mismanagement that ensued at the Astroworld Festival,” Crump told CNN.

Eight people were killed and hundreds were injured during the incident, including Bharti Shahani, a student from Texas A&M who has been in critical condition and on a ventilator at Houston Methodist Hospital. She reportedly hasn’t had brain activity since the incident.

Her family is now determining how to proceed, as doctors have told them her chances of survival are “nothing.”

Doctors told Shahani’s family that the 22-year-old experienced multiple heart attacks during the crowd surge, according to ABC13.

“I think she lost oxygen for 10 minutes one time and seven minutes at another time,” Shahani’s cousin Mohit Bellani told the ABC News affiliate. “So her brain stem was swollen to like 90 percent almost.”

Bellani, who attended the concert with Shahani, described the chaotic scene as a “sinkhole.” 

“Once one person fell, people started toppling like dominos,” she told ABC13. “People were falling on top of each other. There were like layers of bodies on the ground, like two people thick. We were fighting to come up to the top and breathe to stay alive.”

She added, “I want people to understand what we experienced and to make sure nothing like this ever, ever happens to anyone ever again.”

Scott is facing multiple lawsuits from those affected by the casualty, including one from an attendee who dubbed the incident a “predictable and preventable tragedy.”

The families of Shahani and EB have set up GoFundMe pages to help cover their medical costs.

Updated at 5:58 p.m.

Tags Astroworld Astroworld Festival Houston Travis Scott

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