12 injured at Ariz. concert after crowd rushes stage
Nine people were taken to the hospital; two with life-threatening injuries
TEMPE, Ariz. — As many as 12 people were injured after a crowd rushed a stage during a music festival Saturday night at a park near the city's downtown, authorities said.
Tempe fire officials tell KNXV-TV that nine people were taken to a nearby hospital after the incident 7 p.m. at Tempe Beach Park. The station reports that two minors were taken from the Summer Ends Music Festival with life-threatening injuries.
The city's fire department, aided by fire departments in Scottsdale and Phoenix, came to the scene after getting reports that as many as 40 people were hurt at the event after concert-goers began rushing the stage.
People who were at the front of the stage had trouble breathing, KNXV reported.
Witnesses told the station two women collapsed at the front of one of the stages after apparently suffering seizures.
Paul Folk, 55, of Gilbert, told the Arizona Republic that crowds rushed the stage when the reggae band Rebelution came on. After three songs, people were getting crushed near the stage, the Republic reported. Rebelution was scheduled to take the stage at 7 p.m.
"There's been lots of scuffles and dehydrated people because everyone's been drinking," Grand Canyon University student Hailey Ferris, 18, told the newspaper. She reported being afraid of being trampled.
Concert promoter Tom LaPenna told the Republic that the plug was pulled on Rebelution's set because of "a medical emergency." LaPenna worked to get the fans to move back and allow the medical professionals access to the area in front of the venue's east stage.
Kanye West is scheduled to take the stage at the festival on Sunday night.