Astroworld staff told in event plan to refer to possible dead fans as ‘smurfs’

The New York Post:

Astroworld staffers were instructed to refer to potential dead concertgoers as “smurfs,” according to a security and emergency medical response plan — as witnesses described victims as turning “black and blue.”

The 56-page Event Operations Plan, which was obtained by CNN, instructs the personnel at NRG Park in Houston to never use the terms “dead” or “deceased” on the radio.

Scoremore, the Austin-based promoter, instead instructed workers to use the code word borrowed from the blue animated children’s characters, the document shows.

It is unclear why the term “smurf” was chosen or whether staff actually used the code on the radio when referring to Astroworld victims — some of whom were described by eyewitnesses as turning blue as they suffocated, the Houston Chronicle reported.

Instagram user @diabloxantiago said in a video that he watched people turn “black and blue” while receiving CPR, the paper said.

Houston Mayor’s office spokesman Brent Taylor said he believed the use of the code word in the plan, which was prepared before Friday’s deadly event, was “operational,” according to Yahoo News.

smurfs astroworld
It is unclear why the term “smurf” was chosen or whether staff actually used the code word.

He said he has heard the term “smurf” used “secondhand” before, but referred questions to the promoter.

Eight people between the ages of 14 and 27 were killed and about 300 were injured — including a 9-year-old boy who is in a coma — when a mass of fans among the 50,000 concertgoers rushed the stage during rapper Travis Scott’s performance.

The detailed plan published by CNN also includes protocols for a variety of dangerous situations — including an active shooter, terrorist threat, possible riot and severe weather.

However, it does not address crowd surges despite an incident from the same festival in November 2019, when three people were hospitalized after being trampled.

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