Houston concert stampede: Pakistani-origin man dies while saving fiancé

Danish had moved with his family from Karachi, Pakistan, to Texas when he was a baby.


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Published: Tue 9 Nov 2021, 9:48 AM

Last updated: Tue 9 Nov 2021, 11:08 AM

A Pakistani-American man was among the eight people who died at a music concert in Houston, Texas, late Friday, according to US media reports.

Danish Baig, 27, whose family migrated to the US from Karachi, was among the eight people, who died and 25 hospitalised as a densely packed crowd surged towards the stage of the Astroworld Festival headlined by rapper Travis Scott.

After a funeral service on Sunday, Danish was buried in Colleyville, Texas, as his family and community member mourned his tragic loss.

Although the causes of death remain under investigation, Danish’s family said he died after being trampled while trying to save his fiancée, Olivia Swingle.

“He managed to get it to where she was able to get out,” Danish’s brother Ammar Baig told People magazine in an interview. He said that Danish was separated from Olivia, 25, in the chaos.

“Somehow, the ambulance managed to get to her and then, by the time they got to my brother, they tried resuscitating him. And they said that before they got to the hospital, he couldn’t make it.”

Ammar, 29, describes the scene as recounted by their younger brother Basil Baig, who was also in attendance at Friday’s concert. “People started hitting them, people started hitting his fiancée, started [doing] a lot of things to her. She’s bruised up, and he was trying to save her,” he says, adding: “And no one there was there to help him.”

Danish and Olivia, who both worked at AT&T telecommunications company, where he was a district manager, travelled from Dallas to Houston after months of planning to watch Scott and other artists in concert.

“He would always take care of his fiancée. He would always get her whatever she wants. They would always have goals, plans, all these things he had in his mind for them,” Ammar said of the couple. “He just started his life.”

“We just want prayers for him,” Ammar added.

Danish, the middle child of five siblings, moved with his family from Karachi, Pakistan, to Texas when he was a baby, People magazine said.

Above all, Danish was someone who cared for others, especially his parents. “He was going to buy a house for my dad and my mom at the end of this month, and he’s not going to be there to get the house for them,” Ammar says through tears.

“I’m the oldest brother, but he would do all the things that I should be doing,” he continues. “And he would be there for them any time they needed it.”

Ammar blames poor organization and lack of security at the event for his brother’s death. “What happened to my brother is not right and it’s unjust and we’re going to find justice for him,” he says.

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