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) and Pusha T (19 December) have been postponed in the wake of the tragedy. The next listed event is a DnB Allstars presents New Year’s Eve show on 31 December, which is currently scheduled to go ahead.
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”.
Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.
We think you'll like these related articles.