Three people are in a critical condition after a clash at one of Britain’s leading music venues last night during a London concert, the capital’s police said.
Nigerian afrobeats singer-songwriter Asake’s sold-out performance at the O2 Academy Brixton on Thursday evening saw a large crowd trying to get into the concert. End prematurely.
Video from the scene Crowds were shown streaming through the stadium’s main entrance, cheers and screams echoed through the throngs of fans that stretched along the main road, as baton-wielding police struggled to maintain control.
“It’s too dangerous,” one can be heard saying.
Ade Adelegun, commander of the Metropolitan Police in London, said officers had launched an investigation which would be “as thorough and forensic as necessary”.
A total of eight people were taken to hospital, four initially thought to be in critical condition. It was unclear Friday whether the injuries occurred inside or outside the arena.
Speaking outside Brixton Police Station on Friday afternoon, Chief Superintendent Colin Wingrove of the Metropolitan Police said more than 4,000 people “were in attendance last night”.
The show was advertised as a sell-out and, according to its website, the venue’s capacity is nearly 5,000. It was not clear whether the chief inspector was referring only to those with tickets or those who tried to enter the venue without them, and the police did not respond to queries on this.
Video footage and testimonies from people who said they were at the scene Thursday evening showed disturbing scenes.
Akin Oluwalimu, 53, went to the concert with his 14-year-old daughter where they encountered a “rowdy” situation outside. According to the BBCHe said he saw two women who had fainted and were carried away.
“We didn’t go in,” he said. “As we were leaving we were told the show had been cancelled.”
The episode led to the cancellation of the concert, the last of three sold-out shows for 27-year-old Asakae, whose much-anticipated debut album this year has been well received in both Britain and America.
“My heart goes out to those injured last night,” Asage said A statement was released on Instagram, noted that he had not heard from O2 Academy Brixton about the disruption. He said he regrets that the concert has been cut short. “I pray for your speedy recovery,” he added.
O2 Academy Brixton did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan said A Twitter post “He was heartbroken that this could happen to young Londoners enjoying a night out in our city.”
“I will not rest until their loved ones and the local community get the answers they need and deserve,” he added.
During his statement outside Brixton police station on Friday, Chief Superintendent Wingrove confirmed an incident captured on video “appears to be a member of the public pushing someone”. He also said that one more member of the public has been arrested for assaulting a police officer.
A police station in Brixton, south London, is about 100 yards from the scene, and a cordon was in place on Friday, with the normally busy road closed to traffic.
Above the building’s entrance, a “Sold Out” sign was still visible, and debris was strewn across the street.
London is home to a large African community, and the Afrobeats genre has grown in popularity in the capital in recent years, with artists often selling out shows.
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