A 22-year-old Texas A&M University senior has been severely injured following Friday night’s Astroworld Festival.
Identified as Bharti Shahani, she is currently in critical condition and on a ventilator, though she has shown no brain activity since the concert. Her family is now speaking out about her devastating condition in hopes of a “miracle.”
As we’ve been reporting, Travis Scott‘s Houston-based music festival, which he co-founded and performed at over the weekend, was the site of a “mass casualty event,” resulting in eight known deaths, dozens of hospitalizations, and hundreds of injuries. The chaos was sparked by a crowd rush toward the stage, impacted by allegedly weak security measures and the rapper’s alleged unwillingness to stop the concert despite fans’ pleas.
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On Tuesday, the victim’s sister Namrata Shahani and cousin Mohit Bellani spoke with ABC 13 after having attended the concert with Bharti. Bellani described the horrifying crowd surge, recalling:
“Once one person fell, people started toppling like dominos. It was like a sinkhole. 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.”
Bharti was taken to Houston Methodist Hospital by ambulance. Paramedics even gave her CPR during the trip. But just like many other victims, her family members were unaware of her whereabouts for some time. Namrata and Mohit lost their cell phones, likely due to the mosh pit chaos, and once they lost physical contact with the 22-year-old, she was out of sight for the rest of the evening, her sister explained:
“Once we let go of her hand, the next time we saw her, we were in the ER.”
That has to be so traumatic for the young women. The college student’s parents were immediately worried when they heard the news of the tragedy at NRG Park, heading to the venue when news first broke. Unable to find their daughter there, they then rushed to multiple hospitals until they were finally able to locate Bharti. Her father, Sunny Shahani, explained:
“They took us to her room, and she was bleeding and on a ventilator. Me and my wife were too shocked. We can’t even stand in there.”
Noting that she suffered multiple heart attacks, the dad added:
“I think she lost oxygen for 10 minutes one time and seven minutes at another time. So her brain stem was swollen to like 90 percent almost.”
Bharti had been studying computer science at TAMU, where she was set to graduate in the spring. She had already snagged a summer internship and was planning to take over the family business afterward. So, so sad that she may never get to live out these aspirations…
Related: Video Of Adele Stopping Concert Over Fainting Fan Resurfaces Amid Astroworld Tragedy
As of Tuesday, the family has yet to decide on what to do given Bharti’s dire conditions. Sunny candidly shared:
“The doctors, they say the chances of survival are nothing, which I have not even spoken to my wife until now. We keep saying we’ll pray. I request all of Houston to pray for her. Maybe the prayers might work as a miracle for her.”
Phew… We will certainly keep Bharti in our thoughts and prayers, as well as the entire family and all those grieving or carrying for a loved one amid this tragedy. On why speaking about the scary event is so important, Mohit told the outlet:
“I want people to understand what we experienced and to make sure nothing like this ever, ever happens to anyone ever again.”
The family has set up a GoFundMe page to support them while they are “unable to work.” The funds will go towards covering “mounting expenses during this strenuous time.” To support them, check out their fundraiser HERE.
The aftermath of this festival is getting more upsetting with every new piece of information we learn. Here’s to hoping those fighting for justice get the answers they so rightly deserve…
[Image via GoFundMe & WENN/Avalon]