Four people have been left in a critical condition in hospital after gig-goers tried to force their way into an Asake concert, authorities have said. Police and paramedics rushed to the scene at the O2 Academy in Brixton following reports of crowd issues at around 9.35pm on Thursday.
The Metropolitan Police have confirmed that eight people in total were rushed to hospital for treatment with ‘a number of injuries believed to have been caused by crushing’. Revellers claimed they were locked outside in freezing temperatures, leading to some trying to force their way into the venue and the concert being cancelled, the Mirror reports.
Video footage of the event has emerged on social media and appears to show clashes between fans and police. A police statement warned against sharing "upsetting" footage while also saying that "where force has been used by police officers, those officers know they have to be accountable for their actions."
Lambeth Police tweeted shortly after footage broke to release a statement saying: "Emergency services attended the O2 Academy in #Brixton following reports that a number of people had been injured after a large crowd attempted to gain entry without tickets. 4 people are in a critical condition at hospital. Officers will remain in the area to provide reassurance."
A cancellation announcement had been made on stage partway through the gig and was met with uproar.
Speaking to the fans they said: "The reason we have to stop the show is because they have breached the doors. You've got 3,000 people who have broken the doors outside and because of security the police have asked us to close the show."
As the fans loudly booed, the message continued: "This is nothing to do with us," before adding: "This is basically - listen to what I am saying..." The booing drowned out the messaging, causing another to add: "Listen, for your own safety, for your own safety, listen please.
"For your own safety, please, please, please. There are people who've breached the door. They have broken in and security are trying to help with it."
They went on to try to appease the moans by saying for everyone who had purchased a ticket for the show, a refund would be available. The Metropolitan Police statement read: "Detectives are investigating the circumstances which led to four people sustaining critical injuries in Brixton.
"Police were called at 21:35hrs on Thursday, 15 December to the O2 Academy on Stockwell Road, SW9 following reports that a large number of people were attempting to force entry to the venue. 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. LAS treated two other less seriously injured people at the scene. An urgent investigation is under way led by detectives from Specialist Crime. Cordons remain in place at the location as officers continue work at the scene. Nobody has been arrested."
Commander Ade Adelekan, Met Police Gold Commander, said: "This is an extremely upsetting incident which has left four people critically ill in hospital. 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.
"I am aware of video being shared on social media. 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."
Irate fans took to social media to vent their frustration at the abrupt ending of the concert, with many sharing videos to their platforms. One user on Twitter wrote: "Asake's show got cancelled. Organisers trying to protect ravers or they have no respect for them?"
And another speaking of the goings-on outside added: "So the police have locked off Asake and have left a bunch of people in an alley in the freezing cold. It is well."
Replying to the comment, culture writer Jason Okundaye claimed: "Not Asake's fault at all, seems people who didn't have tickets turned up with fake tickets or just broke their way in so capacity was reached with thousands of paying ticket holders outside. Grown cheap adults ruining it for everyone."
Another user responded: "Asake has had the worst luck with these UK concerts. I can imagine he'd be reluctant to come back."
Asake is an award-winning singer-songwriter who has sold out three shows in O2 Brixton Arena. His debut album titled Mr Money With The Vibe was released this year and featured the tune Sungba.
The songs helped the 27-year-old break many records in his native Nigeria, including becoming the African album with the most first-day streams on Apple Music.
Any witnesses who are yet to speak with police are asked to call 101 ref 6725/15Dec. If you have mobile phone footage that may assist police, please make contact via @MetCC on Twitter.
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