Brixton O2 Academy Ordered To Shut Down Following Deaths At Asake’s Concert

The O2 Academy in Brixton has been ordered to shut temporarily after two people died after a crowd crush.

The venue’s licence was suspended by Lambeth Council’s licensing subcommittee on Thursday until another meeting on 15 January.

The decision was made after the deaths of Gaby Hutchinson, 23, a security guard, and Rebecca Ikumelo, 33, a mother of two, in hospital following the crash at the south London venue on 15 December.

A woman aged 21 was also injured as fans without tickets attempted to get into a show by Nigerian artist Asake.

She remains in the hospital in critical condition.

The O2 Academy had offered a voluntary closure until that date before the council meeting yesterday.

The removal of the licence means the venue will be forced to close, including for New Year’s Eve, when it was planning to host a drum and bass music night.

Announcing the decision, Fred Cowell, a councillor, said the risks to people’s safety were high if the venue was allowed to stay open.

“In the view of the licensing subcommittee, given the severity of events of December 15, the risks to public safety as a consequence of, in particular, serious disorder rising from a lack of crowd control at the front doors of the venue remain high if the venue were able to operate as before,” he said.

Ms Ikumelo died in hospital last Saturday, two days after the crush.

Her family described her as an “adorable mother” known for her “care, kindness and love”.

Ms Ikumelo, from Newham, east London, was well known for her TikTok posts about parenting an autistic child.

On Monday, Ms Hutchinson was confirmed as the second person to die after the crush.

She was working as one of the contracted security providers for the event that evening.

Both were in the foyer of the building when they were critically injured, the Metropolitan Police said.

Eight people were taken to hospital with injuries after the incident.

Asake was forced to abandon the gig after performing three songs and released a statement saying his “heart is with those who were injured”.

His manager, Stephen Nana, told Sky News he was “completely speechless and lost for words” after Ms Hutchinson’s death was announced.

“We only came to entertain and perform. Never thought that anything like this would happen.”

The Met Police have set up an online portal for people to submit information, photographs and videos of the incident, which is believed to have been seen by around 4,000 witnesses.

Anyone who can help is urged to come forward.

Source: Sky News

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