Thursday 25 December 2014

Woman ‘talking again’ after being caught up in crowd crush outside nightclub

Seven people suffered injuries, with four of them being taken to hospital by ambulance

Published 28/01/2014 | 15:30

A WOMAN is "ok and talking" having previously been in a critical condition in hospital after a crowd crush incident in Dublin city centre shortly after midnight.

A large number of people were caught up in the incident as they made their way to the popular Copper Face Jacks club on Harcourt Street.

Around 1,500 people were in the vicinity when the crush happened, estimates suggest.

Seven people suffered injuries in the incident, with four of them being taken to hospital by ambulance, according to garda sources.

One of those, a young woman, was said to be in a critical condition in hospital during the night. She is believed to be 18, and is being treated in St James' Hospital.

However, Cathal Jackson, owner of Copper Face Jacks told independent.ie this morning: “The girl is OK and she’s talking. She’s after coming to."

The young woman was tended to by paramedics at the scene just before midnight, and she was rushed to hospital.

Cathal Jackson, the owner of Copper Face Jacks, confirmed that the young woman and two or three others received medical attention from an on-site paramedic when the crush happened.

Copper Face Jacks nightclub
The scene on Harcourt Street last night

“I saw one girl unconscious and she was my main concern. I directed paramedics to her straight away,” he said.

“This is something I never want to see again.”

“The security staff went in and took the three or four people who had fallen to the ground and they got medical aid for them straight away.”

“A paramedic was attending to her, and security staff as well. We have an on-site paramedic. I arrived when it was happening and I was blocked and I had to force my way through the crowds.”

“It was just a huge crowd coming down Harcourt Street and up Harcourt Street and up Camden Place, and they converged on Camden Place on the alleyway.”

“It got blocked and a few people were knocked to the ground.”

Ten minutes before midnight, gardai and emergency services rushed to the scene when the crowd surge occured outside the club.

Other people in the crowd were treated for crush injuries and panic attacks at the scene and four people were rushed to hospital, the young woman with critical injuries.

Club staff were forced to open the side door of the club to relieve the pandemonium outside.

“We opened the side doors to let people downstairs, and we got the crowd under control. It happened in two or three minutes – the crowd came up the alleyway,” Mr Jackson said.

“When I arrived the heave had happened and I could see people lying on the ground. There was just an unbelievable number of people coming from three directions to the club. We couldn’t have anticipated those numbers.

One young man who went to the night club last night said the queue was no bigger than it was last week for an event called Black Monday.

“I was in Coppers at the time. The crowd was no bigger than it was last week for Black Monday but the problem was much more people decided to leave it [until] much later to come in so as a result the queue was much bigger than last week.”

“The state of the crowd was the same as you'd see anywhere else in the country. Everyone had a few drinks but no one was causing any trouble from what I saw.”

“The bouncers were unprepared for the amount of people and struggled to contain the crush,” he added.

“When the crush happened they were very helpful and acted very quick. They opened up the doors to relieve the pressure. Without their quick thinking there would have surely been more injuries.”

A statement from Copper Face Jacks today said the club is cooperating with all relevant authorities to investigate the cause of the incident.

“We are working closely with all relevant authorities to establish the cause of this incident.

“The safety and well being of our patrons is paramount at all times, and at present our major concern is for the people who were caught up in the incident and particularly those who were injured.”

Meanwhile, one Twitter poster wrote “Not a nice feeling being crushed between a wall and the barriers due to the huge stampede at Coppers. I’m just so glad we all got out okay.”

The event called “Messy Monday” was the first of its kind in the club, allowing over-18s into the venue. The venue has a strict over-21s policy at weekends.

Mr Jackson said the huge crowd was “unexpected” for the night club, and he said this morning he would “seriously consider” not hosting an over 18s event again.

“18s wouldn’t have been in the premises before and they got excited.”

Conor Feehan and Geraldine Gittens

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