x
Breaking News
More () »

'Like an angel' | Devastated family confirms Astroworld victim Bharti Shahani declared dead at 22

They say Bharti was the backbone of the family, "the light of their lives" who had never been to a concert before until she saw Travis Scott with her sister.

HOUSTON — Bharti Shahani was a Texas A&M senior with a bright future and promising life ahead of her. All that changed on November 5.

On Thursday, Bharti's heartbroken family confirmed she'd been declared dead from injuries she suffered during the chaos at the Astroworld Festival

"She was like an angel for us.” Bharti's father Sunny said as his wife and other family members sobbed and held hands behind him. 

"Bharti is love," said mother Karishma, who was overcome by grief. "Always thinking about everybody – friends, parents, family, her dog Blue."

They say Bharti, 22, was the backbone of the family, "the light of their lives" who was a gift from God.

"What happened to my blessing now? I want my baby back," the broken mother said through tears.

"She was everything to me," Bharti's younger sister Namrata said. "We did everything together... she was like a second mother to me."

Her first concert

The young Aggie was a first-generation American and a good student who would have graduated soon with a computer science degree. She also helped with the family business and took care of her sisters.

Bharti had never been to a concert before -- rarely did anything for herself, her mom said -- but she decided to go see Travis Scott with Namrata and a cousin.

"She was looking forward to it, she had her outfits planned, she tried everything on, she showed me," Namrata said. 

The sisters were holding hands and enjoying the music, but they got separated during the crowd surge.  

RELATED: Astroworld Festival tragedy: What we know about the nine victims

“She was always looking out for me," Namrata said. "The last thing she said to me was, 'Are you okay?'"

Namrata lost her phone in the confusion and borrowed one from a security guard to call their father and tell him Bharti was missing. 

VIDEO: Sister, cousin speak at news conference

'Please make sure that she gets the justice'

The parents rushed to NRG and later found their daughter at Methodist Hospital. She was badly injured after being trampled. Doctors told them Bharti had two heart attacks on the way to the hospital and they had to intubate her.

The A&M senior remained in ICU fighting for her life for several days but attorneys for the family said the 22-year-old was pronounced dead at 6:50 p.m. Wednesday. 

The family will donate Bharti's organs in order to help others and plans to establish a foundation established in her name.

“Please make sure that she gets the justice – and I don’t want somebody else’s daughter to go like this," Sunny said.

VIDEO: Father, attorneys at news conference

'Hellish nightmare'

"I think the word that should be used is atrocity – that this was 100 percent avoidable," Bharti's cousin Mohit Bellani said. "This was an act of pure, pure brutality."  

Bellani blames the event organizers and venue for the "hellish" nightmare that left the survivors battered and emotionally traumatized.

"Words like nightmare, horror, barbarity and catastrophe. And that's what happened that night," he said. "They suffocated us. They did this to Bharti. They suffocated Bharti."

Now the young woman who the entire family depended on is gone. 

"I have no idea how she did it. Like she was in school, helping her father, handling her sisters. She took on so much responsibility at such a young age. She was such a great kid. She never complained about it, never said anything," Bellani said.

"Every day I wake up, I constantly wish that maybe it was all just a dream, it was just a big nightmare and it will finally be over and I can finally see my sister again, finally hold her again, finally hug her again, tell her how much I love her," Namrati said.

'Monumental travesty'

Attorney James Lassiter has filed a $20 million wrongful death lawsuit on the family's behalf.  It names Live Nation, NRG, the Harris County Sports & Convention Corporation and Travis Scott.

 "This was a monumental travesty from start to finish, Lassiter said.

A gofundme.com account has also been set up by the family to help cover expenses.

Bharti is the ninth victim from Friday night’s Travis Scott concert at NRG Park.

RELATED: 9-year-old Ezra Blount is fighting for his life after being trampled at Astroworld Festival, family says

RELATED: 'I’m holding her the whole time' | Friend of Brianna Rodriguez describes chaos at Astroworld Festival

Nine-year-old Ezra Blount remains in ICU on a ventilator at Texas Children's Hospital. The little boy was trampled after his father, who had him on his shoulders, passed out and both fell to the ground. Ezra's grandpa said he suffered severe brain and organ damage and needs a miracle. 

Both families ask that you keep them in your prayers.

WATCH: More Astroworld coverage on YouTube

Paid Advertisement