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Irish Independent
Irish Independent
By Henry Vaughan, PA

Woman dies following crowd crush at Brixton concert

Police outside Brixton O2 Academy (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

A woman has died after a crowd crush at a concert at the O2 Academy Brixton, police have said.

Rebecca Ikumelo, 33, was one of three people critically injured after fans attempted to gain entry without tickets to a show by Nigerian artist Asake at the south London venue on Thursday.

The Metropolitan Police said Ms Ikumelo, from Newham, east London, died in hospital on Saturday, while two other women, aged 21 and 23, remain in a critical condition.

Police were called to the venue at around 9.35pm on Thursday following reports a large number of people were attempting to force entry during a performance by Nigerian Afrobeats singer-songwriter Asake (PA)

Speaking at the scene on Friday, Chief Superintendent Colin Wingrove, policing commander for Lambeth and Southwark, said: “I’d like to extend my sympathies to all those who have been affected.

“Having seen some of the really upsetting images on social media our thoughts are with them.”

The Met said its “urgent” investigation continues, while specialist officers provide support to Ms Ikumelo’s family.

We are working incredibly closely with our partners and community members and would like to thank them for their support so far in the investigationChief Superintendent Colin Wingrove

Post-mortem tests will be done on Sunday.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said: “I am heartbroken by the tragic death of Rebecca Ikumelo who has very sadly died following the awful events on Thursday night in Brixton.

“Rebecca had her whole life ahead of her and on behalf of all Londoners, I would like to extend my condolences to her family, friends and loved ones at this extremely difficult time.

“My thoughts remain with everyone affected by this dreadful incident. It’s vital that the investigation into what happened concludes as soon as possible.

“City Hall are in contact with venues and authorities across London to ensure nothing like this happens again.”

Florence Eshalomi, Labour MP for Vauxhall, wants to know what led to the crush, while Asake said he is “praying” for those hurt on Thursday night.

Scotland Yard previously said a woman was arrested for assaulting an officer over the incident and investigators were looking at footage on social media and from body worn cameras.

Video of the Day

“We are working incredibly closely with our partners and community members and would like to thank them for their support so far in the investigation,” Mr Wingrove said.

“We would also like to thank people for coming forward with information.

“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.”

The incident has been referred to the Independent Office for Police Conduct under standard practice following incidents where police had been in attendance and members of the public had been seriously injured, the Met said.

The force also said that video footage on social media showing an officer pushing a woman from the steps had been assessed by the Directorate of Professional Standards and that there was “no evidence of misconduct”.

Ms Eshalomi said in a statement posted on Twitter: “We need answers about exactly how this happened and safeguards against it in future.

“This will be fully investigated by Specialist Crime detectives, supported by Lambeth Council’s Licensing Unit.”

She added: “This is a deeply concerning incident and has turned an experience which should have been a celebration into a very sad day.”

Asake, whose real name is Ahmed Ololade, was recently nominated for BBC Radio 1’s Sound of 2023 award, for artists breaking through in the UK.

He said in a statement 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!”

Ahead of the gig, he had posted on Twitter asking fans not to come to the venue unless they had a valid ticket.

The concert was the third of three sold-out dates at the 4,921-standing capacity venue and concluded a run of UK dates.

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