Woman remains in a critical condition after Brixton O2 Academy crush

Woman, 21, is still fighting for her life in hospital more than a fortnight after crush at Brixton’s O2 Academy which left two other people dead

  • A 21-year-old woman remains in critical condition following the Brixton O2 crush
  • The fatal incident saw two people in hospital as a result of their injuries
  • The crowd became out of control as ticketless fans tried to see artist Asake 
  • Rebecca Ikumelo, 33, and security guard Gaby Hutcinson, 23, died days later

A 21-year-old woman remains in a critical condition in hospital more than two weeks after a crush at Brixton’s O2 Academy killed two people.

Detectives investigating the fatal crowd crush have launched a renewed appeal for evidence, a fortnight after the tragedy took place on December 15.

Officers pleaded for anyone with information to come forward, as the young woman remains ‘very seriously injured’ in hospital.

The tragic incident happened at the south London venue as ticketless fans tried to get into a shown by Nigerian artist Asake.

Detectives investigating a fatal crowd crush at the Brixton O2 Academy in South London have said a 21-year-old woman still remains in a critical condition in hospital

Mother-of-two and nursing graduate Rebecca Ikumelo, 33, from Newman, East London, died in hospital as a result of her injuries two days after the fatal crush

The crush left a number of people with serious injuries, with many being treated at the scene by staff, police officers and paramedics.

Mother-of-two and nursing graduate Rebecca Ikumelo, 33, from Newham, and security guard Gaby Hutchinson, 23, died two days later in hospital from their injuries.

On Friday Scotland Yard renewed its appeal for photos and videos of the event, as police officers continue the ‘large and complex’ investigation to work out what happened that night.

Detective Superintendent Dave Kennett, from the Met’s Specialist Crime Command, said: ‘As part of that investigation we are carrying out a comprehensive analysis of any available CCTV footage but we are also very keen to obtain and view any other footage filmed on the night.

Security dog handler, Gaby Hutchinson, 23, (pictured), who worked at the venue also died two days after the incident in hospital

‘We know from some videos shared on social media immediately after the incident that there were many people caught up in the crowds outside, in the entrances and in the atrium of the venue. Some of those people had their phones out and were likely filming or taking photos.

‘That footage or those images could include detail that will help us to better piece together exactly what took place and why.

‘Two people have died and a third is still very seriously injured and we owe it to them, their families and anyone else affected by this incident to do leave no stone unturned.’

Calls to emergency services were first made shortly after 9pm on the tragic night following reports that a large crowd had gathered outside the music venue.

Another call was then made at 9.35pm reporting people forcing entry into the building.

Video footage shows a large crowd gathered outside the Brixton O2 Academy on December 15

The two people who were killed, as well as the woman still in hospital, had been in the foyer of the venue when the crush occurred.

Last week, the O2’s licence was suspended by Lambeth council until a full hearing can be held on January 16.

The meeting was called following an application by the Metropolitan Police, who said the licence should be suspended immediately to ‘protect the public’. During the council meeting, the Met said there had been another crush on February 4, 2020 during a concert by Naira Marley, another Afrobeats singer.

Cllr Fred Cowell, chair of the council’s licensing subcommittee said: ‘Given the severity of events of December 15, the risks to public safety as a consequence of serious disorder arising from a lack of crowd control at the front doors of the venue remain high if the venue was able to operate as before.’

In a report presented to the licensing committee, police wrote: ‘Upon arrival at the venue it was apparent to officers that security staff had completely lost control in regards to crowd control.

Nigerian star Asake’s (pictured) concert descended into chaos after fans were filmed clashing with police outside Brixton’s O2 Academy

‘Crowds had forcibly breached the doors of the venue and were seen in large numbers to be forcing their way into the event.

‘Many people were crushed by the sheer force of the crowd and many were injured, some seriously.’

The renewed appeal for information comes days after Phoebie Turley, 25, the partner of Gaby who died following injuries they sustained working as a security dog handler at the concert, said that people need to be held responsible.

‘Things like this should never have happened,’ Ms Turley said. ‘Every action has a reaction, and this consequence has come out of people turning up with no tickets or turning up trying to kick through a door. For what? What purpose did that serve? Because now you have killed innocent people.’

Phoebie Turley, left, is demanding someone is held accountable for the death of her partner Gaby Hutchinson, right, who died following the crush at the O2 Brixton Academy on December 15

The couple, both from Gravesend in Kent, had been dating for more than three years after meeting through mutual friends. Ms Turley paid tribute to her partner saying they were the nicest person she had ever known.

Paying tribute to her partner, Ms Turley said: ‘They were just a good person.

‘Gaby literally would have done anything for anyone at the drop of a hat. They weren’t bothered who you were, Gaby would have given you the shirt off their back if someone else needed it. And they were like that our entire relationship. They did everything for me from the minute we met.

‘They did not deserve this. Justice needs to be served and someone needs to be found accountable for what happened. Not just for Gaby, but just for Rebecca as well.’

Following her death, tributes also flooded in for Rebecca (pictured), with friends describing the single mother and autism campaigner as a ‘beautiful woman who radiated positive energy and was dedicated to being the best version of herself for her kids’

Following her death, tributes also flooded in for Rebecca, with friends describing the single mother and autism campaigner as a ‘beautiful woman who radiated positive energy and was dedicated to being the best version of herself for her kids’.

In a statement, Rebecca’s family said: ‘Rebecca was a graduate of nursing. She was an adorable mother of two children who loved working with kids.

‘She was well respected in the family for her care, kindness and love. Her parents call her Tosin (short for Oluwatosin) meaning “Lord is Worthy”.’

Scotland Yard urges anyone with information to call police the police non-emergency number on 101, providing the reference 6725/15DEC.

Alternatively, call the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111 or visit www.crimestoppers-uk.org.

This is a charity independent of police that does not ask for your name, trace your number or your ID address.

The Met has also set up a dedicated page for the investigation here, where photos and video footage can be uploaded.

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