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Two people die after Brixton concert tragedy

Two people who were critically injured in the suspected crowd crush at O2 Academy Brixton have died, police have confirmed.

The show by Afrobeats singer/songwriter Asake last Thursday (15 December) was abandoned following reports that a large number of people were attempting to force entry to the 4,921-cap venue. Emergency services attended and found a number of people with injuries believed to have been caused by crushing.

Mother-of-two Rebecca Ikumelo, 33, of Newham, London, passed away in hospital on Saturday (17 December), while 23-year-old Gaby Hutchinson, who was working as one of the contracted security providers for the event, died in the early hours of this morning. A 21-year-old woman remains in hospital in a critical condition.

Officers, who are reviewing CCTV, phone footage, speaking to witnesses and conducting forensic examinations, have established that the two women and one man were all in the foyer of the building. While the police cordons outside the venue have been removed, cordons remain in place inside the building while officers continue to examine the scene.

“I’d like to extend my sympathies to all those who have been affected,” says chief supt Colin Wingrove, policing commander for Lambeth and Southwark. “An urgent investigation is currently under way led by detectives from our specialist crime command. This is still a fast moving and evolving picture and we are working to establish the events that led up to the incident.”

Video footage circulated on social media shows a large crowd built up outside the venue and apparent clashes with police.

“We are determined, along with our partners, to do everything we can to establish exactly what happened”

“We are also aware of a vast amount of footage on social media and of course this will be examined as part of the investigation along with footage from officers’ body worn video cameras,” adds chief supt Wingrove. “We have set up an online page for the submission of photos and videos.

“There were around 4,000 potential witnesses present at the time of this incident and we want to urge any members of the public with information to come forward. We need your information as we try to establish what happened as quickly as we can.

“We are determined, along with our partners, to do everything we can to establish exactly what happened on Thursday night.”

Planned concerts at O2 Academy Brixton by 2ManyDJs (15 December), Pusha T (19 December) and DnB Allstars presents New Year’s Eve show (31 December) have all been postponed in the wake of the tragedy.

A social media post by the Academy Music Group venue says its “thoughts are with everyone affected by this devastating news at this extremely difficult time”.

 


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Four critical after Brixton concert incident

Investigations are ongoing after four people were critically injured in an apparent crowd crush during a concert by Afrobeats singer Asake at O2 Academy Brixton.

Police were called to the 4,921-cap London venue at 9.35pm last night (15 December) following reports that a large number of people were attempting to force entry to the venue. The concert – the third of three sold-out shows at the venue by the Nigerian artist – was curtailed as a result.

Officers, London Ambulance Service (LAS) and London Fire Brigade attended and found a number of people with injuries believed to have been caused by crushing. Eight people were taken by ambulance to hospital, four of whom remain in a critical condition, with LAS treating two other less seriously injured people at the scene.

No arrests have been made, but cordons remain in place.

“This is an extremely upsetting incident which has left four people critically ill in hospital”

“This is an extremely upsetting incident which has left four people critically ill in hospital,” says Met Police gold commander Ade Adelekan. “My thoughts and prayers are with them and their families.

“A police investigation has been launched, and it will be as thorough and as forensic as necessary to establish exactly what happened last night. The scene will be examined by specialist officers, CCTV will be viewed, every witness that we can make contact with will be spoken to and all other lines of enquiry will be followed.

“Officers are remaining in the area to provide reassurance to the local community in and around Brixton. If you have any information or concerns, please speak with them.”

“My heart is with those who were injured last night and caused any form of discomfort”

Video footage has circulated on social media showing a large crowd built up outside the venue and apparent clashes with police.

“I am aware of video being shared on social media,” adds Adelekan. “I would ask people to be sensible about what they share, and not to post material that will be upsetting to those affected by this incident. Where force has been used by police officers, those officers know they have to be accountable for their actions.

“The Met’s directorate of professional standards will view all material, including body worn video footage from the officers at the scene. In relation to a clip being widely shared, I can confirm that no police dogs were deployed to the location.”

IQ has reached out to O2 Academy Brixton for comment.

In an Instagram post, Asake writes: “My heart is with those who were injured last night and caused any form of discomfort. I pray you get well soonest. I am also in the process of reaching out to individuals.

“I still do not have the full brief from the venue management themselves as to what led to the disruption at the entrance of the Brixton Academy, but we are thankful that all was peaceful at the end. For my people who enjoyed the beginning of my performance, I am sorry that it was cut short.”

 


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