Bharti Shahani, a final year student of Electronics Systems Engineering at Texas University, had sought permission from her parents to enjoy the concert; she intended to help her father after graduation.
For Bharti Shahani, a 22-year old Sindhi girl and Texas University’s electronics systems engineering student, who died from horrific injuries sustained at the Astroworld Festival, it was first concert of her life she had attended. Shahani died late Wednesday last.
She was injured in stampede of fans during rap star Travis Scott‘s Astroworld Festival on Friday November 5, 2021. Nine people, including Bharti died in stampede.
“First thing she asked me in life, ‘Mama, can I go to this concert?’” mom Karishma Shahani said, calling her daughter “pure love.”
“This was the first thing she asked me for herself.”
“At first I said, ‘No no no.’ because we don’t go to concerts — we don’t even know what [concerts are] all about,” she said, assuming it would just be “music and having fun.”
“But this is not a concert. I don’t know what it was, but this was not a concert — because my baby did not come back,” she sobbed.
She broke down in tears as she questioned: “Why didn’t I say no to her? Why? Because it was the first thing she asked me for herself.”
She called her daughter a “blessing” from God, imploring those at the press conference a couple of days ago, “What happened to my blessing now?
“I want my baby back — I won’t be able to live without her,” she sobbed, saying the loss has left her “empty.”
Bharti Shahani, who was set to graduate from Texas A&M University in the spring, went to the deadly gig with her sister, Namrata Shahani, who said that her caring last words to her were, “Are you OK?”
“She was very full of life, she enjoyed the smallest things,” Namrata Shahani added. “She was always there for me, the last thing she said to me was, ‘Are you okay?'”
“For the first time in her life she just wanted to have fun, and that was taken from her,” said her sister about the gig where they were also joined by a cousin, Mohit Bellani.
“Once one person fell, people started toppling like dominos. It was like a sinkhole. People were falling on top of each other,” Bellani said. “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.”
The family noted that Bharti would be donating her organs. “She loved helping others,” her cousin Mohit Bellani said.
The way that this festival was put on was a “recipe for disaster” that ended in tragedies that “no parent should go through,” James Lassiter, a lawyer for the family, said.
“We want to make sure that the people who decided to put profits over the safety of the lives of children are held responsible,” said Lassiter. He blamed the producers and Live Nation for lack of trained medics, security and packing concertgoers in with barricades. “They suffocated Bharti.”
Bharti was taken to Houston Methodist Hospital by ambulance. Paramedics gave her CPR on the way there.
Shahani’s dad, Bhagu, called his daughter “the head of the family” with a “bright future.”
“Please, please make sure that she gets justice. I don’t want somebody else’s daughter to go like this,” he pleaded.
Bharti had already secured a summer internship, and her father said she planned on taking over the family business after graduating.
“She was the backbone of the family,” he recalled. “Saying, ‘Daddy, don’t worry about it, I’ll help you out in the business once I’m done with my graduation.'”
“Sicko Mode” rapper Scott — who has a history of violent shows — has come under fire after he was caught on videos noticing trouble at the gig, but continuing the performance anyway.
Police radio transmissions show that the gig even continued more than 30 minutes after it was declared a mass casualty incident.
However, one of the star’s lawyers, Ed McPherson, insisted in an interview with that the rapper would have stopped had he known how serious the crush was.
“Nobody told him to stop the show until ultimately right before the show ended,” he said.
“You have pyrotechnics all around you, there’s a lot of noise, a lot of light. It’s the middle of the night. You have ear monitors in your ear with music blasting, you can’t see things that are going on out there,” McPherson insisted of the star who was seen noticing unconscious fans and an ambulance trying to make its way through the crush.
“He’s especially devastated because this was in his hometown. He has a lot of ties to Houston, a lot of love for Houston,” he said.