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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Alahna Kindred

Horror at O2 Academy Brixton as victim trampled in crush 'thought she was dead'

A horrified woman has described being unable to breathe as she was crushed and stepped on all over her body by "more than 10 people" as four people were seriously hurt outside a concert venue last night.

Four people - reportedly including a pregnant lady - are fighting tor life in a critical condition after eight revellers were rushed to hospital following chaotic scenes of crowd trouble at the O2 Academy Brixton in South London, just before 10pm.

One of those injured included a woman who was rushed to St Thomas' Hospital with suspected internal bleeding, who spoke to reporters after being discharged.

She recalled queuing up to show her ticket before falling down in the crowd and "thinking that she was dead" while passing out after multiple people stepped on her head and all over her body.

Large crowds tried to get into the venue to see Afrobeats artist Asake, who was forced to cancel his show. Video footage of the event has emerged on social media and appears to show clashes between fans and police.

Did you witness the scenes outside Asake's gig at the O2 in Brixton? Were you caught up in the crowd? Email

This image shows the crowds outside the venue (PA)

Other videos show organisers telling a booing crowd they had to cancel the show after "3,000 people have broken the doors outside".

Many who were there spoke of the distressing scenes they witnessed.

The unnamed woman, from Battersea in South London, told the BBC: "I was just queuing up to give them my ticket and then the crowd out here was insane, they just came and pushed and I just fell down.

"I was trying to get up, people were stepping on my head, all over me. I had more than 10 people on top of me."

Having just been discharged from hospital, and looking back on the terror she felt while lying on the ground, she added: "I couldn't breathe and I completely passed out. I thought I was dead. I took my last breath and I could not get any more oxygen. I was so scared."

She said a man heroically pulled her out and she woke up in an ambulance and now feels "so grateful".

Police are still investigating what happened (PA)
This image shows the crowds outside the venue in South London (PA)

Meanwhile, the Evening Standard also quotes an unnamed woman from Battersea, who said she fell down and was “kicked around like a football”.

Speaking outside the venue today, she told the London paper she was going into the concert before being crushed from behind.

She added: “There was a woman next to me in a very bad way as well. A security guard was also injured and a pregnant woman outside being resuscitated.

“I thought I’d taken my last breath, I’m still getting flashbacks. I had more than 10 people on top of me.

“A man pulled me out. I woke up in the back of an ambulance, I was so scared. It was horrendous. The pregnant lady is in intensive care. They thought I had internal bleeding, it’s so traumatic.”

One man who lives next to the venue described how everything "kicked off" when police reportedly tried to control crowds.

A single trainer left outside the venue (PA)

John, 32, said: "I saw everyone at the front door of Brixton Academy, (then) everything just stopped,” he said. “It looked like the gig had been cancelled, and then some commotion, some pushing and shoving, and the police came shortly after. That’s when it kicked off and became aggressive."

He added that “you could tell there was tension”.

He said that people tried to get into the O2, breaking the glass of the front doors.

He said: "People at the front of the Brixton Academy were really pushing and shoving and trying to break through the door and force their way in. The glass of the doors was broken.”

Another witness saw people “yelling” at each other outside the O2, but “nothing that looked like people were getting violent”.

Anna, 21, who lives beside the O2, said: “I can see the O2 from my window.

“I just saw a large crowd. I could see all the police there. I could see the police trying to either get the people out of the O2, or stopping them from coming in. It didn’t look incredibly intense. I saw more police come in. I saw people scatter and run at one point. I couldn’t tell for what.

“I saw ambulances come in. I saw a few small fights break out, but nothing that looked like people were getting violent or very hurt. I watched until the end until the point that they started putting barriers up, and breaking up the crowd.”

The scene outside Brixton O2 Academy this morning in South London (PA)

She said she saw people yelling at each other.

“And again, I heard a couple of fights, people yelling at each other, but nothing intensely scary sounding,” she said.

On social media, one person wrote: "They were doing CPR on people, nah this is horrific man."

That same person said that there were "armed police" and the road was blocked off. Another said they didn't go inside the venue after seeing the chaos outside.

They wrote: "That’s what put me off ever going to that treacherous Brixton place I didn’t even go inside after all the commotion happening outside took my L and left ASAP."

The door has been cracked (UkNewsinPictures)

Video shared online showed hundreds of people outside the doors appearing to try and push their way in.

Another clip shows fans rushing into the venue as the caption claims "3,000 people came in".

Disturbing footage has also emerged of a woman being pushed downstairs by a police officer outside the venue doors.

The clip was shared to Twitter, showing a policeman throwing a woman down two steps and onto the floor, while members of the crowd can be heard screaming.

A man is then filmed telling the woman: "It's not worth it, okay. You are better than this, you are better than them."

Police appeared to get into clashes with crowds (@DammySNM/Twitter)
The concert had to get cancelled (@DammySNM/Twitter)

Asake said in a statement this morning that he was praying for those who were hurt last night.

The Nigerian singer wrote on Instagram: “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. Thank you for your unbelievable love London. I love you too much! I’m looking forward to seeing you again in a bit!”

Commander Ade Adelekan warned in a statement this morning that "where force has been used by police officers, those officers know they have to be accountable for their actions".

Some online say 3,000 rushed the venue (@inayahlxve/Twitter)
Asake's concert was cancelled (@DammySNM/Twitter)

There have been no arrests at this time.

Metropolitan Police confirmed in a statement that four of those individuals are in critical condition as they continue to investigate what happened.

In a statement released earlier this morning, a police spokesperson said "a large number of people were attempting to force entry to the venue".

A number of people were found with injuries "believed to have been caused by crushed", they added.

The London Ambulance Service attended and said 10 people were treated at the scene. Eight of them were taken to the hospital and two have since been discharged.

Performers or promoters take to the stage to announce the gig is being shut down (@withAlvin__/Twitter)
Organisers had little option but to call off the gig (@withAlvin__/Twitter)

London Mayor Sadiq Khan tweeted: "My thoughts are with all those affected by the awful incident at Brixton Academy. Eight people were taken to hospital, with four in critical condition.

"An urgent investigation is underway and I remain in close contact with the Met Commissioner since last night.

"I'm heartbroken that this could happen to young Londoners enjoying a night out in our city and urge anyone with any information to contact the police on 101.

"I won’t rest until we have the answers their loved ones and the local community need and deserve."

Debris at the scene in Brixton, South London this morning (UkNewsinPictures)

A London Ambulance Service spokesperson said: “We were called at 22.06pm on Thursday 15 December to reports of people injured at the Brixton Academy.

“We sent a number of resources to the scene, including eight ambulances, members of our hazardous area response team (HART) and tactical response team, three incident response officers, two advanced paramedic practitioners, and a medic in a fast response car. We also dispatched a team from London’s Air Ambulance.

“We treated 10 patients at the scene. Eight of them were taken to hospital and two discharged.”

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.

A cordon remains in place at the scene in South London (UkNewsinPictures)

“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.”

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. We will provide further details about ways to share footage in due course.

The Mirror contacted the concert venue for a statement.

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