Second person dies after Brixton concert crush | London

A security guard has become the second person to die after a crowd at the O2 Academy Brixton last week.

Gaby Hutchinson, 23, was working as a contracted security provider at a performance Thursday by Nigerian Afrobeats singer-songwriter Asake.

Police were called to the scene in south London at around 9.35pm following reports that a large number of people were trying to force their way in. They found a number of people with “injuries believed to be caused by crushing”.

Rebecca Ikumelo, 33, from Newham, east London, also died after the incident, and police said a 21-year-old woman remains in a critical condition. All three people were in the foyer of the venue with a capacity of 4,921.

Ikumelo, a mother of two, was a trained nurse and regularly posted on TikTok about parenting an autistic child.

Ch Supt Colin Wingrove of the Metropolitan Police said on Monday: “It is devastating news that another person has lost their life following the events on Thursday.

“I want to express my deepest condolences to Gaby’s family at this incredibly difficult time.”

Detectives from the Met’s specialist crime command are working on the investigation, which is described by the force as large and complex. Officers review CCTV and phone recordings, speak to witnesses and carry out forensic examinations.

Police cordons outside the venue have been removed, but cordons remained in place inside the building while police continued to investigate the scene.

A witness who attended the performance and asked to remain anonymous said that when the crowd was told to leave, they were given no specific instructions on how to do so. “After people left, as people were leaving, they were still struggling to leave because there was a massive stampede outside,” the witness said.

“The side doors were now open so I could get out through the side doors. Thank god I didn’t get caught up in it. It wasn’t until maybe 15, 20 minutes later that I saw the side doors were now open.

“I left and my journey back was fine – I wasn’t aware of this whole thing until I saw it a few hours later – and it made sense to me. You just had more people walking towards the main exit, from more directions.”

A website has been set up for the submission of images, videos and information, and the Met has asked anyone with such material to use this facility. There were around 4,000 potential witnesses present at the time of the incident, the Met said.

The force has referred the Independent Office for Police Conduct, which is standard after incidents where the police have been present and members of the public have died or been seriously injured.

Sadiq Khan said he was “devastated” by “the second life tragically lost following the horrific events of Thursday night in Brixton.

“On behalf of all Londoners, I would like to express my deepest condolences to his family and loved ones at this extremely difficult time. Gaby, like Rebecca Ikumelo, had her whole life ahead of her and had every right to come home safe and sound after her shift at Brixton Academy. My thoughts remain with everyone affected by this terrible incident.”

The Mayor of London urged anyone with information to send it via the online portal. He said: “City Hall is in close contact with the venue and authorities across London to work to ensure nothing like this happens again and I will not rest until we have answers for all those affected by the tragic Brixton incident need and deserve.”

In a statement, O2 Academy Brixton said: “Our deepest condolences go out to Gaby Hutchinson’s family and friends. We continue to be devastated by this tragic situation and fully support the ongoing investigation.”

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