Four people critically injured after “crush” at Asake concert in Brixton
Police were called to the venue after reports of "crowds attempting to force entry" into the O2 Academy Brixton
Eight people have been injured, four in a critical condition, following a suspected crowd crush ahead of an Asake show in Brixton last night last night.
According to a statement from the Metropolitan Police, officers were called to the O2 Academy Brixton at 9:35PM following reports of a “large number of people were attempting to force entry to the venue.”
The statement continues: “Officers, London Ambulance Service (LAS) and the London Fire Brigade attended and found a number of people with injuries believed to have been caused by crushing.”
Nigerian Afrobeats singer and songwriter Asake called off the show 10 minutes after appearing on stage The Guardian report. Videos of the evening have been circulating across social media.
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.”
BBC News spoke with eyewitness Ruth who said: "I live here and the crowd - there are always crowds coming out of the Brixton Academy - but last night was more crowds than I'd ever seen."
She added: "The entire intersection was packed, and I knew something was going on because police normally don't show up and they just told me that people were hurt."
Another eye-witness Jason Okundaye Tweeted: "Outside the venue was so unsafe, still slippery conditions because of earlier snow storm, freezing cold, confused crowd and aggressive police dogs making the risk of a huge crush likely. I went home because I’m not dying today".
Asake has since posted on Instagram the following statement: "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!"
The Metropolitan Police are urging any witnesses to speak with the police by calling 101 and referencing 6725/15Dec, and to share any videos from the scene with @MetCC on Twitter.
Becky Buckle is Mixmag's Video and Editorial Assistant, follow her on Twitter