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Texas Tragedy: 2 South Asian Americans Among Victims of Astroworld Stampede in Houston

Texas Tragedy: 2 South Asian Americans Among Victims of Astroworld Stampede in Houston

  • Pakistani American Mirza Danish Baig, 27, died trying to save his fiancée; and Bharti Shahani, 22, has been declared brain dead following an injury.

Two South Asian Americans are among victims of the Nov. 5 deadly stampede at rapper Travis Scott’s performance at Astroworld festival in Houston, Texas. Pakistani American Mirza Danish Baig, 27, died trying to save his fiancée; and Bharti Shahani, 22, has been declared brain dead following an injury.

Bharti Shahani, a senior at Texas A&M University is currently on a ventilator at the Houston Methodist Hospital. Her family told ABC 13 that she had suffered multiple heart attacks. “The doctors, they say the chances of survival are nothing,” father Sunny Shahani told the news outlet. “We keep saying we’ll pray,” he said. “I request all of Houston to pray for her. Maybe the prayers might work as a miracle for her.”

Her sister, Namrata Shahani told ABC 13 that she and her elder sister went to the concert with their cousin Mohit Bellani. But when the crowd surged, they lost each other. They both lost their cell phones and couldn’t get in touch with Bharti Shahani, she said. “Once we let go of her hand, the next time we saw her, we were in the ER.”

Bharti Shahhani was taken to the ER by ambulance and she was given CPR on the way there. When her parents learned the news, they rushed to multiple area hospitals before finding their daughter. 

Namrata Shahani has also set up a GoFundMe to raise funds “to help cover mounting expenses during this strenuous time.” She described her sister as “the light of our lives,” adding that “we are all praying for her full and speedy recovery.”

Danish Baig and his fiancée Olivia Swingle.

Danish Baig’s brother Ammar Baig told People magazine that his brother died trying to save his fiancée Olivia Swingle. He said his brother was separated from his 25-year-old fiancée amid the stampede, adding that “he managed to get it to where she was able to get out.” He said an ambulance got to Swingle, but by the time it reached Danish Baig, it was too late. They tried resuscitating him, but before they got to the hospital, he couldn’t make it.”

Danish Baig, who worked as a district manager with AT&T, traveled from Dallas to Houston for the show with Swingle and his younger brother Basil Baig. In a Facebook post, Basil Baig wrote that people “started hitting them” and that Swingle was badly bruised up. “He was trying to save her and no one was there to help him,” he said. Danish Baig and Swingle had planned a large wedding in Dallas early next year, Basil Baig said. 

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Ammar Baig told People that his parents had moved to Texas from Karachi when Danish Baig was a baby. He was the middle child of five siblings. “He had a huge heart,” Ammar Baig said of his brother. “He would take care of everybody. He was basically the center that would bring everyone together. He was the funny one, the goofy one, the outgoing one. Our brothers and sisters have our own personalities, but he was the glue to it all.”

Danish Baig loved cars, music, video games, and the Dallas Cowboys, he told People, adding that on his 28th birthday, Danish Baig had planned to rent a Lamborghini to celebrate. He was also planning to buy a house for his parents at the end of the month, Ammar Baig told People. “And he’s not going to be there to get the house for them.”

In a Facebook post on Nov. 8, Swingle mourned for the love of her life. “My heart is destroyed and my soul was taken from me,” she wrote. “I was genuinely loved. I had someone that loved me more than anything in this world, and not everyone gets to experience that kind of love. My baby, my love, gave his life to save mine.”

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