A woman has died as the result of being crushed during a stampede in a nightclub in the English town of Northampton in the east Midlands early Thursday morning.
At least eight other people were injured, two of them critically, at the disturbance at the Lava and Ignite club on St Peter's Street.
The dead woman was identified as Nabila Nanfuka, 22, from Neasden, London, who was studying leisure and tourism at the University of Northampton.
She died soon after being sent to Northampton General Hospital, according to a spokesman for that institution.
According to BBC, an eyewitness to the tragedy, James Adetula, said the stampede commenced as people rushed the exits upon being told their bus was awaiting them.
It was a [university] night and they had come from all over. It was so busy that some had to go to another club nearby, he said. It was 'everybody the coaches are leaving, make your way to the exits' so everyone went for the exits. Then next minute the fire alarm went off and everyone started panicking. There was obviously a stampede of people in there when the fire alarm went off.
According to the Daily Mail newspaper, Adetula described Nanfuka as “a good girl, a really good girl. She wasn't a trouble-maker.”
Another witness told the Daily Mail: “It wasn't even the fire alarm that caused the stampede, although it did go off in the end. What happened was that the DJ announced that the coaches were leaving to take the students back to their universities. It was about 3.30 in the morning and there was a big crush as the doors opened and this poor girl was trampled to death. There were just too many people. There were about 1,400 in the club.”
Supt Andy Cox, of Northamptonshire Police, said during a oppress conference the club is designed to hold 1,600, but that he is aware that there were “large numbers” of people in the venue.
Police are also investigating to see if the club’s fire alarm was activated prior to the stampede, he said.
Councilor David Palethorpe, leader of Northampton Borough Council, said in a statement: This is a terrible tragedy and we have the deepest sympathy for the families of everyone involved. As the licensing authority, we will of course play our part to support the police investigation in every way we can.
Brian Binley, Conservative MP for Northampton South, said he responded to the news with horror, as I imagine many people will react, one of great sadness for the loss of a young life and for injury to other young people.
Binley added: I am calling for a full and open public inquiry so that we can find out exactly what happened. I would hope that inquiry could make recommendations... that would make these places safer for young people.