‘I’m absolutely devastated’: Travis Scott on Texas Astroworld festival deaths and injuries

Rapper Travis Scott says he is devastated by the deaths and injuries at his Astroworld festival and has pledged "total support" to the police.

At least eight people died and scores of people were hurt after a crowd surge on the opening night of the music event in Houston, Texas.

"My prayers go out to the families all those impacted by what happened," the rapper said in a statement on Twitter.

"I'm absolutely devastated by what took place last night," he said.

Emergency workers described how panic broke out after the crowd began to press towards the front of the stage during the rapper's headline set on Friday evening.

As the crush began causing injuries to people, the panic grew and the casualties quickly overwhelmed the on site first aiders, officials said.

Eleven people were taken to hospital with cardiac arrests, with eight of them dying. Some 300 people were treated for injuries such as cuts and bruises on Friday.

In his first statement since the tragedy, the rapper thanked the police and emergency services and said he was "committed to working together with the Houston community to heal and support the families in need".

Some 50,000 people were attending the two-day outdoor event, which has now been cancelled.

According to the Houston Chronicle, Scott stopped multiple times during his performance when he spotted fans in distress near the front of the stage.

The rapper asked security to help them out of the crowd. Emergency vehicles, lights and alarms flashing, cut through the crowds several times, the paper says.