BELFAST: Three teenagers were killed in an apparent crush outside a Saint Patrick’s Day disco at a hotel in Northern Ireland, police said on Monday.
Several hundred people were trying to get into the venue at the Greenvale Hotel in Cookstown, Co Tyrone, after being dropped off by buses. A 17-year-old girl and two boys aged 16 and 17 died, one at the scene and two later in hospital, police confirmed.
A 16-year-old girl is in a stable condition in hospital, while a further two teenagers were treated for injuries they suffered during the incident. People struggled to get off the ground and there was confusion in the immediate aftermath between 9pm and 10pm on Sunday, the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) added.
Assistant Chief Constable Mark Hamilton said: “It is a truly awful incident, heart-wrenching for everybody, particularly the families.”Efforts to resuscitate were made by emergency crews at the scene. The senior officer added: “Everybody did their best for them last night but it is a truly appalling incident.”
He added: “Unfortunately three are dead, the last person died this morning unfortunately with his parents near him.” One of the deceased died at Antrim Area Hospital, the other at Craigavon Area Hospital in Co Armagh. The nightlife venue in Mid Ulster can take up to 500 people.
Hamilton said preliminary investigations show there was a crush towards the front door of the hotel, and in that crush people seem to have fallen. Security camera footage is being examined and police have appealed for videos captured by those present.
The senior officer added: “We are examining now to see if the people who have fallen are those who are deceased. There seemed to be a little bit of struggling going on to get people up off the ground and that might explain also why there was a report of some fighting.”
Six emergency ambulances and two rapid response vehicles responded shortly after 9pm on Sunday. Four emergency doctors were deployed along with ambulance officers.