Astroworld festival: ICU nurse Houston describes deadly concert: ‘It was madness’

A Houston nurse who attended Friday’s deadly Astroworld concert said in an interview on Saturday that she was “disturbed” by what happened during 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 used to “watching people die every week.”

“It was absolutely insane,” she said of the disaster. ‘I’ve never seen anything like it in my life. I’m alarmed.’

A wave of crowds at rapper Travis Scott’s annual festival in his native Houston has killed at least eight people. Eskers said she attended the same event in 2018 and 2019 and the crowd usually moves forward excitedly, but this year was different.

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

“I really thought I was going to be crushed to the point where my windpipe would be crushed, my chest. I thought I was going to die.”

“I really thought I was going to be crushed to the point where my windpipe would be crushed, my chest. I thought I was going to die.”

— Madeline Eskins, ICU nurse in Houston who attended a concert

The Astroworld music festival in Houston was rocked Friday night by the deaths of eight attendees.

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

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

“I tried to jump up and lift my head so I could get some air.”

That’s when she said to her boyfriend, “We have to get out,” and he said, “We can’t.”

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

The audience watches as Travis Scott performs at Astroworld Festival at NRG Park on Friday, November 5, 2021 in Houston.

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

Once she recovered, she told the station she was going back to help the injured because of her nursing experience.

Eskins said she’d seen several people perform CPR, but there seemed to be confusion about how to handle the situation.

“There were no pulse readings. It was madness,” she claimed. She told the station she didn’t think the concert had enough security or medical personnel for the size of the crowd, which officials estimated at around 50,000 people.

While all this was happening, she said, the concert was still going on — until it was eventually stopped — and some in attendance were still watching the concert and filming them as they worked to keep people alive.

Eskins said she was “disappointed” with the way the incident was handled and that the medical staff were not “actual medical personnel. … Some of them had little to no experience in these types of situations.”

She called it a “death sentence” for anyone who hit the ground as the crowd rushed forward. If her boyfriend had dropped her on the floor, “I think I would have been one of the people in the hospital or worse,” she added. “If you fell, you didn’t get up.”

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Eskins added that she didn’t know any of the people she worked with, but she hoped “only one” of them would make it alive, noting that one of the patients she did CPR on hadn’t had a heartbeat. 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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