Second person dies after crush at Brixton Academy


The second person, aged just 23, has died following a crush at a concert at the O2 Brixton Academy on Thursday.

Gaby Hutchinson, who had been working security at the event, was one of three people badly injured when ticketless fans tried to get into a show by Nigerian artist Asake at the south London venue on Thursday evening.

He died in the early hours of Monday, theMet confirmed.

Gaby’s death comes two days after Rebecca Ikumelo, a 33-year-old mother-of-two from Newham who was also seriously injured in the crush, died in hospital on Saturday.

Metropolitan Police Chief Supt Colin Wingrove described the news another person has died as “devastating”.

The scene outside Brixton’s O2 Academy on Monday

/ AFP via Getty Images

“I wish to express my heartfelt condolences to Gaby’s family at this unimaginably difficult time,” he said.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, also expressed his condolences to his loved ones in a statement released on Monday night, adding that City Hall is “working to ensure nothing like this happens again.”

“I am devastated by the death of Gaby Hutchinson, the second life to tragically be lost following the appalling events on Thursday night in Brixton,” he said.

“On behalf of all Londoners, I would like to extend my heartfelt condolences to his family and loved ones at this extremely difficult time.”

Rebecca Ikumelo

/ PA

Eight people were taken to hospital with serious injuries on Thursday and one woman, 21, remains in a critical condition after a crowd of ticketless fans tried to get into the gig, which attracted around 4,000 people.

Metropolitan Police said Rebecca, Gaby and the 21-year-old who remains fighting for her life had all been in the foyer of the Brixton O2 Academy when the crush happened.

Detectives from the Met’s Specialist Crime Command are “working hard to established exactly what happened on Thursday night”, Scotland Yard said on Monday.

A large crowd gathered at the music venue on Thursday night

/ PA

“The investigation is large and complex,” said a spokesperson. “Officers are reviewing CCTV, phone footage, speaking to witnesses and conducting forensic examinations.”

Police cordons outside the venue have been removed, but cordons remain in place inside the building while officers continue to examine the scene.

An online page for the submission of photos, videos and information has been created by the police.

“There were around 4,000 potential witnesses present at the time of this incident and we urge any members of the public with information to come forward,” the Met said.

Police officers were initially called to the long-standing music venue at 9.04pm on Thursday following reports of a large crowd gathered outside. A further call was made at 9.35pm reporting people were attempting to force entry into the venue.

The Met has made a referral to the police watchdog Independent Office for Police Conduct.

Family of Rebecca, a nursing graduate, described her as “an adorable mother of two children who loved working with kids”. “She was well respected in the family for her care, kindness and love,” they said.

“Her parents call her Tosin (short for Oluwatosin) meaning ‘Lord is Worthy’.”

Singer Asake said he was “overwhelmed with grief” following Rebecca’s death, and that he had spoken with her family.

Rebecca Ikumelo

/ (Family Handout/PA)

“My team and I are still awaiting the full debrief back from the venue management and the police to determine exactly what led to all the disruption caused and ultimately Rebecca’s passing,” he wrote on Instagram on Saturday.

Speaking on the night of the tragedy, one woman told the Standard she had fallen amid the mass of people rushing in and had been “kicked around like a football”.

She told the Standard: “I was going into the concert and I was crushed from behind. The crowd was human.

“I fell down, they were stepping on my head. I couldn’t breathe.”

Florence Eshalomi, Labor MP for Vauxhall, said in a statement posted on Twitter: “It is very clear ticketing and security procedures have not been performed as they should have for this incident to have occurred.

“We need answers about exactly how this happened and safeguards against it in the future.”

On Monday London’s Mayor said City Hall is in contact with venues and authorities “across London” to ensure “nothing like this happens again”.

“The urgent investigation into what happened continues and I urge anyone with information or footage from the incident to submit this to investigators via the public portal that has been set up by the police,” said Mr Khan. You can also submit information and footage to police anonymously via Crimestoppers online or by calling 0800-555-111.

“City Hall are in close contact with the venue and authorities across London about working to ensure nothing like this happens again and I won’t rest until we have the answers all those impacted by the tragic Brixton incident need and deserve.”

Asake, whose real name is Ahmed Ololade, was recently nominated for BBC Radio 1’s Sound of 2023 award – for artists breaking through in the UK.

Ahead of the gig, he urged fans not to go to the venue without 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.


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