The police watchdog has said it has launched an investigation following a suspected concert crush at the O2 Academy Brixton in south London which has left three women fighting for their lives.
Eight people in total were taken to hospital with what are believed to be crush injuries following the incident on Thursday night at a show by Afrobeat artist Asake.
Three women, aged 21, 23 and 33, remain in south London hospitals in a critical condition.
Their next of kin have been informed and are being supported by specialist officers, police said.
In a statement on Friday evening, Chief Superintendent Colin Wingrove said an “urgent investigation” into the incident is under way.
He said: “I’d like to extend my sympathies to all those who have been affected by last night’s incident and those that have been injured. Having seen some of the really upsetting images on social media our thoughts are with them.
“This is still a fast moving and evolving picture and we are working to establish the events that led up to last night’s incident.”
He said an incident in which an officer was “apparently seen to push a member of the public” is currently under review by the force’s director of professional standards.
A spokesperson for the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) said it is aware of the incident and added: “We will assess the available information, including footage of the incident, to determine what further action may be required.”
The Met Police Gold Commander Ade Adelekan said that where force has been used by officers “those officers know they have to be accountable for their actions”.
He added that the Met’s Directorate of Professional Standards will look at all material, including body-worn video footage from those at the scene.
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Crowd tries to enter Asake gig Lambeth police and other emergency services were alerted to the scene on Stockwell Road after 9.30pm on Thursday following reports of injuries after “a large crowd attempted to gain entry without tickets”.
Footage posted online showed large crowds outside the building, with many people holding up mobile phones and filming the scene.
The concert was eventually cancelled part-way through, with fans of the Nigerian singer told: “The reason we have to stop the show is because they have breached the doors.”
Following the incident, Asake, who was recently nominated for BBC Radio 1’s Sound of 2023 award, said his “heart is with those who were injured” at his concert.
Image: Clothes and medical gloves lie on the floor outside Brixton O2 Academy Labour MP Florence Eshalomi has called for answers to what led to the suspected crush, and stated that “ticketing and security procedures have not performed as they should have”.
Ahead of the gig, Asake 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.