Victims of Crushing at Travis Scott Concert Identified (UCNN 10.7.21)

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According to PEOPLE magazine, John Hilgert, a high school freshman, has been identified as the youngest of the eight victims who died at the mass casualty event during Travis Scott’s Astroworld Festival on Friday evening. He was 14. On Saturday, school administrators from Memorial High School in Houston, Texas, alerted community members of Hilgert’s death in a letter, which was obtained by ABC 13. “Our hearts go out to the student’s family and to his friends and our staff at Memorial,” MHS Principal Lisa Weir wrote, per the outlet. “This is a terrible loss, and the entire MHS family is grieving today.” ABC 13 reported that Weir also noted that counselors will be available to students when they return to class next week. After news of Hilgert’s death was made public, baseball coach Justin Higgs wrote a touching tribute to the young boy alongside a set of photographs and videos. “RIP John Hilgert. He got the Call up to the Major Leagues by the Almighty!” Higgs began the caption of his post. “John made an impact on anyone who met him and they always remembered him. I have memories of John I’ll never forget. You had to love the kid. No option not too [sic] cause he was who he was. He loved the game [of] baseball.” Noting that it “was a privilege to coach” Hilgert, Higgs continued his message by sending out prayers to “any of his friends, teammates, and his family… especially Ms. Hilgert.” During a Saturday news conference, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner told reporters that alongside Hilgert, a 16-year-old, two 21-year-olds, two 23-year-olds, a 27-year-old, and an eighth victim were also reportedly among the dead. Brianna Rodriguez, 16, Franco Patino, 21, and Rudy Peña, 23, have since been identified. About 50,000 people attended the festival and more than 300 people were injured. Turner said of the 25 people initially transported to the hospital, 13 remain hospitalized.

According to the Associated Press, An oil tanker truck exploded near Sierra Leone’s capital, killing at least 98 people and severely injuring dozens of others after large crowds gathered to collect leaking fuel, officials and witnesses said Saturday. The explosion took place late Friday when the tanker collided with another truck as it was pulling into a gas station near a busy intersection in Wellington, just east of the capital of Freetown, according to the National Disaster Management Agency. “Both drivers came out of their vehicles and warned community residents to stay off the scene while trying to address a leakage emanating from the collision,” the agency said. In this deeply impoverished country, however, crowds still rushed in to scoop up fuel, witnesses said. It was not immediately known what caused the leaking fuel to ignite but a massive explosion soon followed. Video obtained by The Associated Press showed a giant fireball burning in the night sky as some survivors with severe burns cried out in pain. Charred remains of the victims lay strewn at the scene, awaiting transport to mortuaries. Nearly 100 injured people were taken to area hospitals, officials said. According to Foday Musa, a staff member in the intensive care unit, about 30 severely burned people at Connaught Hospital were not expected to survive.

According to Christian Headlines, Thanks to sold-out shows nationwide, a new biopic film about Christian apologist C.S. Lewis will enjoy an extended release. The movie, The Most Reluctant Convert: The Untold Story of C.S. Lewis, originally was scheduled to be in theaters for one night only (November 3) but will now play in theaters through November 18 due to an impressive debut. The movie grossed $1.2 million its first night, placing it second behind Dune, according to Trafalgar Releasing, the distributor. It finished first in per-theater average. The Most Reluctant Convert is based on the stage play of the same name and stars Max McLean in the lead role as a middle-aged Lewis. “When we began working on our distribution of the film, we had a handful of theatres, mostly in major markets, with one showing on one day on November 3,” McLean said in a press release. “I am grateful to the tens of thousands of people who came out to fill theaters in almost every major city throughout the country, which has allowed the run to extend for this very important film!” The movie, a mixture of narration and drama, shows Lewis traveling back in time as he watches the key spiritual moments of his life. Lewis famously switched from atheism to Christianity and became one of the leading apologetics of the 21st century. He is the author of Mere Christianity, The Screwtape Letters, and The Chronicles of Narnia series, among others. It is presented by Fellowship for Performing Arts – which McLean founded – in association with Trafalgar Releasing. Filmmaker Norman Stone, who won a BAFTA Award and an International Emmy for the movie Shadowlands, directed it. Nicholas Ralph, star of the PBS series All Creatures Great and Small, plays Lewis as a young man.

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In closing, remember, God loves you. He always has and He always will. John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” If you don’t know Jesus as your Saviour, today is a good day to get to know Him. Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died, was buried, and rose from the dead for you. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart and He will. Romans 10:13 says, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Thanks so much for listening and may God bless your day!