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Rochester concert victim is buried as her sister describes a chaotic stampede

A victim who died in the Rochester concert stampede was laid to rest as her sister recalled the chaotic swell of the crowd in excruciating detail.

Rhondesia Belton, a 33-year-old mother from Buffalo, was the first of three women to die after sustaining injuries during the chaos. at the Main Street Armory on March 5, authorities said. She was buried on tuesday in Buffalo, according to the Rochester news station WHAM.

Belton attended the GloRilla concert with her sister, Ronisha Houston, who says they split up when the crowds increased.

“YO got my sister out of this pile (of people) he was in and I did CPR on him for as long as I could until the paramedics arrived,” Houston told Buffalo news station WGRZ. “They pushed everyone aside and kicked me out and I guess they tried to work with her.”

A Online fundraiser to support Belton’s young son, Rhian, has received over $12,000 in donations over five days.

Authorities identified Brandy Miller and Aisha Stephens, both 35, as the other victims who died. Seven people sustained non-life-threatening injuries on the rise.

“It was like a wave of people just pushing… but it was so close and so tight that anyway, the wave went away, that’s how it went away,” Houston recalled.

Investigators are working to determine what caused the stampede and vowed to hold anyone responsible accountable.

Police tape remains on the ground outside the Main Street Armory on Monday March 6, 2023 in Rochester, NY

“As people started to come out, the crowd started to emerge and run towards the exit. There are some reports that shots were heard, causing the crowd to panic, but that has not been confirmed,” Rochester Police Chief David M. Smith said last week.

“We don’t have any evidence of gunshots or that anyone was shot or stabbed at the scene.”

Smith has since denied the renewal of the Main Street Armory’s entertainment license, which prevents the venue from hosting events.

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