Thursday 19 October 2017

Footballer Jamie O'Hara's cousin among those injured in 'sick' nightclub acid attack

Emergency services at the scene of an incident in Dalston, east London, where at least 12 revellers have suffered burns from a noxious substance at a nightclub. Photo: @PhieMcKenzie/PA Wire
Emergency services at the scene of an incident in Dalston, east London, where at least 12 revellers have suffered burns from a noxious substance at a nightclub. Photo: @PhieMcKenzie/PA Wire

Jack Hardy

Ex-Premier League footballer Jamie O'Hara has condemned the "sick" nightclub acid attack in which his cousin was among those injured.

The Celebrity Big Brother star posted a picture of his relative Sadie Wright's scalded face after the corrosive liquid was sprayed during an argument at Mangle in Dalston, east London.

He wrote on Twitter: "Sick that my cousin got burnt from this acid attack in hackney, innocent people get injured for the sick act of violence, guy should get life."

Two revellers were seriously hurt when the male suspect threw the substance at them early on Monday morning, while at least 10 others were also injured.

One witness whose foot was burnt by the acid said she initially did not realise the severity of her injury.

The 25-year-old, who asked not to be named, told the Press Association: "It was very, very packed in there, all of a sudden down at the back bit of the bar everybody started moving out of the way, I thought there had been a fight.

"Everyone was like 'go, go, go' and 'let's move, let's move'.

"Then they started getting everyone out, at the time I didn't realise I had been attacked, I thought someone had dropped a cigarette on my foot but it was getting more red and stinging.

General view of the Mangle nightclub in Dalston, east London, where at least 12 revellers have suffered burns from a noxious substance. Photo: Jack Hardy/PA Wire
General view of the Mangle nightclub in Dalston, east London, where at least 12 revellers have suffered burns from a noxious substance. Photo: Jack Hardy/PA Wire

"It's just like a red circle round my toes, around the size of a 50p piece, it is more sore than if you burnt yourself, it is really stinging.

"It is scary because you just go out to have a good night and you realise how close it could have been to being a lot worse.

"I'm a bit disappointed with the club because they were frisking and checking our bags, but there were a considerable amount of people hurt so it must have been a whole bottle, it shouldn't have got into the club."

Hundreds of people were at the venue for a LoveJuice bank holiday event when the incident occurred, and roads were closed as emergency services, including a hazardous area response team, rushed to the scene.

Witnesses reported several victims were outside with burns across their bodies, while others were seen pouring water on what appeared to be an injured friend.

O'Hara posted a second picture apparently showing damage to Ms Wright's scalp, adding: "Blisters all over my cousins @SadieWrightxx head from acid attack in hackney, what is wrong with world that innocent people have to get hurt."

Jamie O'Hara
Jamie O'Hara

The Metropolitan Police said trouble brewed when two groups of clubbers got into a dispute at the event, and the "noxious substance" was flung directly at the two victims.

The suspected attacker has not been arrested, police said.

Video footage seen by the Press Association showed the venue's corridors filled with clubbers wrapped in medical blankets, while the road outside was packed with ambulances.

A witness said: "In the party in the basement there were girls making noise, I saw their friends ordering a bottle of water - they were putting it on them, they were splashing it on their faces.

"It was like a war - the police were everywhere."

The London Ambulance Service said it had taken 10 patients to hospital, while police said a further two people with similar injuries sought treatment at hospital.

Nima Navazande, 30, who works at the nearby Martello Hall bar, said: "My manager told me that around one o'clock they heard somebody saying that someone was attacked with liquid acid and there was a girl who had half her arm and her face burnt.

"My manager had to lock the doors and stay indoors to make sure nobody got in or out."

Emergency services remained at the scene throughout Monday after first being called at 1.10am.

A London Fire Brigade spokeswoman said: "The only information that we have is that it was an unknown corrosive substance thrown within the nightclub.

"It was identified by a PH paper test as a strong acidic substance."

One tenant at a block of flats overlooking the nightclub described a scene of confusion as crowds were moved up the street.

The woman, who asked not to be named, said: "It happened so fast, they rushed people out, I thought it was a stabbing because all I heard was 'move, move, move - move out of the area'.

"The security were telling the crowd to go down that way - people on this side were waiting to go home but they couldn't go home because the road was closed.

"People were confused."

Police said there is no indication the attack was gang-related.

Mangle said it is co-operating with the police investigation.

Press Association

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