4 seriously injured after crush in London concert hall during performance of Asake

Four people were hospitalized in critical condition on Friday after hundreds forced their way into a London concert hall during a performance by Nigerian Afrobeats star Asake. Police said eight people were taken to hospital after being caught in a crowd of people trying to enter the O2 Brixton Academy. Two other injured people were treated at the scene.

Police said emergency services were called on Thursday evening after “a large crowd tried to enter without a ticket”. Video footage shot by passersby shows a crowd of hundreds outside the concert hall and dozens of people pushing the doors and rushing upstairs.

Brixton O2 Academy incident
Police at the scene outside Brixton O2 Academy where they are investigating the circumstances which led to four people sustaining serious injuries in an apparent crush as a large crowd attempted to force their way into the venue South London concert hall.

James Manning/PA Images via Getty Images

The concert was interrupted, with an organizer taking the stage to tell the audience that people had “come through the doors”.

The Metropolitan Police said officers, paramedics and firefighters arrived and found “a number of injured people believed to have been caused by a crush”.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan said he was “heartbroken that this could happen to Londoners in our city”.

“I will not rest until we have the answers their loved ones need and deserve,” he said on social media.

Police said they would carry out a full investigation into what happened and the officers’ reaction. Footage shows an officer appearing to push a woman down some steps at the entrance to the room.

Metropolitan Police Gold Commander Ade Adelekan said officers who use force “know they must be held accountable for their actions”. He said video footage carried to the officers’ bodies would be studied as part of an investigation into the incident.

“This is an extremely upsetting incident which has left four seriously ill people in hospital. My thoughts and prayers are with them and their families,” he said. “A police investigation has been launched, and it will be as thorough and forensic as necessary to establish exactly what happened last night.”

Adelekan said specialist officers would examine the scene and CCTV, but called on anyone with information to come forward.

Video clips posted on social media and featured on tabloid websites appeared to show packed crowds pressing against the doors of Academy 02, as well as violent scuffles in the lobby.

Adelekan said the Met’s Professional Standards Branch, a police watchdog, will review all material, including video footage carried by officers to the scene.

Brixton Academy in South London is one of the city’s most famous concert halls. Built as a movie theater in the 1920s, it has a capacity of just under 5,000 people.

AFP contributed to this report.

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