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The aunt of a 9-year-old boy who was injured at Friday's Astroworld music festival tragedy in Houston and left in a medically induced coma is speaking out, calling the packed concert “a death trap.”
Ezra Blount was on his father’s shoulders at the concert. When concertgoers began to crush into each other, Treston Blount passed out and his son fell. When he woke up, Ezra was nowhere to be found.
“The crowd just started going crazy and Treston goes, ‘I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe,’” Ezra’s aunt, Taylor Blount, said in an interview that aired Tuesday on NBC's “TODAY” show.
The family frantically called around to local hospitals before he was finally located at Texas Children’s Hospital.
Doctors said Ezra suffered severe swelling in his brain and went into cardiac arrest at the concert or on the way to the hospital. Now he's in a coma to minimize brain and heart function so the swelling can go down, Blount said, adding Ezra also suffered damage to his lungs, liver and kidney.
"He's made it very far. The doctor the first day told us that he wasn't expected to make it after the day, but it's how many days after, so I know he's fighting in there," Blount said of her nephew.
She's calling out the concert organizers for failing to assure the safety of attendees.
"Having more security, having exits. A lot of things that could have prevented that. It's really no excuse for it. It's a lot of disappointment because it could have been prevented," Blount said.
High-profile civil rights lawyer Benjamin Crump said Monday night that he has been retained by Ezra's parents. Crump said Ezra suffered brain trauma after he was trampled in a statement.
Crump said he would work alongside Alex and Bob Hilliard of the Corpus Christi law firm Hilliard Martinez Gonzalez in representing the child.
"The suffering that this family is going through is immeasurable," Crump's statement said. "This little boy had his whole life ahead of him — a life that is currently hanging in the balance because of the reckless mismanagement that ensued at the Astroworld Festival."
The two-day festival, curated by rapper Travis Scott and organized by concert promoter Live Nation, was cut short Friday after the accident. Hip-hop star Drake, who had joined Scott onstage Friday, issued his first public statement since the tragedy.
"My heart is broken for the families and friends of those who lost their lives and for anyone who is suffering," he said on Instagram late Monday. "I will continue to pray for all of them, and will be of service in any way I can."
Overall in the chaos, eight people died and hundreds more were injured.
If a lawsuit materializes, it would be one of nearly 20 announced or filed over deaths and injuries at the NRG Park event.
In a statement Monday morning, Live Nation said it will "continue to support and assist local authorities in their ongoing investigation so that both the fans who attended and their families can get the answers they want and deserve, and we will address all legal matters at the appropriate time."
Sources close to Scott have said he plans to pay for the funeral expenses of the dead and will give refunds to ticket holders.
"I could never imagine anything like this just happening," Scott said in an Instagram story Saturday. "My fans really mean the world to me, and I always just really want to leave them with a positive experience. Any time I can make out ... anything that's going on, I'd stop the show and ... help them get the help they need."