TEMPE — An Arizona State University student said she was in the middle of the 50,000-person crowd at Travis Scott's concert at the Astroworld Festival in Houston, Texas, where eight people were killed and several others were injured after crowds apparently surged toward the front of the stage.
"He had a time clock on the stage with a 30-minute countdown," said Bianca Strauss in an interview with ABC15. "Once it hit the ten-minute mark, all I could feel was the intense pressure behind me getting pushed forward."
Once the clock struck zero and the gates were open, thousands of people began to apparently stampede toward the stage. Eight people died and several others were taken to the hospital with various injuries, officials said.
Houston's mayor said the victims ranged in age from 14 to 27 years old.
Strauss said she was immediately overtaken by the crowd and remembers gasping for air and going in and out of consciousness.
"They crushed me. They were on top of me, there was no way for me to get out," she said. "Blacking out, waking back up, blacking out, waking back up; it was just that fear that I had. I really believed that I was going to die."
Strauss said she was eventually rescued by a random man, who lifted her up from under her armpits to safety.
While being pulled out of the crowd, Strauss said she could feel a cold hand holding tightly onto her ankle from someone she believes was trapped beneath her amid the crowd.
"I could feel them pulling me under," said Strauss. "And of course, it was most likely to acknowledge that they were there. They needed that help."
In an Instagram post on Saturday, Strauss detailed her tragic experience at the Astroworld Festival, saying she suffered a panic attack while getting physically crushed.
"All I could do was scream for help and cry for help because that was all I could do," she wrote. "If I would have went to get that person who was under everyone, I would have gone under and never came back up."
"If I didn’t have that stranger that helped pull me out of that crowd," Strauss told ABC15. "I would have been one of those casualties."
Houston police have opened a criminal investigation into the incident.
In a statement on his social media accounts, Travis Scott said his prayers were with the victims and their families, and that the Houston Police Department had his full support.
"Anytime I can make out anything that's going on, you know, I stop the show and help them get the help they need you know, um. I could just never imagine the severity of the situation," Scott said. Some attendees have criticized Scott and festival organizers for not reacting quickly enough to the impending situation.
"Our hearts are with the Astroworld Festival family tonight - especially those we lost and their loves ones," festival organizers said in a statement. “We are focused on supporting local officials however we can."
Saturday's concert schedule was canceled as a result of Friday's incident.
It isn't the first time a dangerous situation has happened at one of Travis Scott's concerts.
In a 2015 interview with GQ titled "How to Rage With Travis Scott," Scott said he wants his concerts to be like the WWF.
That same year at Lollapalooza in Chicago, Scott was charged with disorderly conduct after, police say, he encouraged fans to jump barriers and rush the stage.
In 2017 during a concert in New York City, the New York Times reported Scott encouraged a fan to jump from a third-story balcony.
“They gonna catch you. Don’t be scared," Scott reportedly said. That fan said he was pushed from the balcony, which left him partially paralyzed, and has now filed a lawsuit against the rapper.