Astroworld Festival stampede: 22-year-old critically injured at concert dies; death toll rises to 9

HOUSTON — An attorney representing the family of Bharti Shahani said Thursday that the 22-year-old Texas A&M University student has died after being injured Friday during a crowd crush at the Astroworld Festival.

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“At 6:50 last night, Bharti Shahani lost her battle from the horrific, horrific injuries that she sustained at the Astroworld Festival,” attorney James Lassiter said at a news conference. He remembered Shahani as “a shining star in the community.”

“She was a sister, a daughter, a high-achieving college student about to graduate from the Texas A&M University with high, high grades,” he said. “Bharti never -- she was the ideal child.”

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Shahani’s parents told reporters that she often helped her family, friends and others without
asking for anything in return. She was a senior in college set to graduate soon, according to her family’s representatives.

“She was like an angel for us,” Bharti Shahani’s father, Sunny Shahani, said. “She was the head of the family. She was a very nice girl, always calm, always listens -- and she had a bright future.”

Her mother, Karishma Shahani, got emotional Thursday as she recounted how she initially didn’t want to allow her daughter to go to the Astroworld Festival.

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“It was the first thing she asked me for herself,” she said. “I don’t know what to do without Bharti. How will I live without her?”

Family members told KTRK on Tuesday that doctors said Bharti Shahani had shown no signs of brain activity since she was injured. They said the college senior had suffered multiple heart attacks and that she was hospitalized on a ventilator in critical condition on Tuesday.

“I think she lost oxygen for 10 minutes one time and seven minutes at another time,” Bharti Shahani’s cousin, Mohit Bellani, told KTRK. “Her brain stem was swollen to like, 90%, almost.”

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Bellani described a chaotic scene Friday as he, Bharti Shahani and her sister, Namrata, attended the Astroworld Festival.

“Once one person fell, people started toppling like dominos. It was like a sinkhole. People were falling on top of each other,” he told KTRK. “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.”

At Thursday’s news conference, Bellani described Friday night’s events as an “atrocity.”

“This was 100% avoidable,” he said. “This was an act of pure, pure brutality.”

Lassiter confirmed Thursday that the woman seen in video circulating online which showed her falling from a gurney as officials tried to evacuate her from the festival was Bharti Shahani. The 22-year-old is the ninth person to die after suffering injuries during the crowd surge Friday at the Astroworld Festival. Officials said the victims were between the ages of 14 and 27.

A 9-year-old boy remains in a medically induced coma Thursday after being injured at the concert.

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