DJ announcements contributed to the deaths of Brent women killed in nightclub crush, inquest rules
- Credit: Archant
Repeated announcements from a DJ urging revellers to leave a nightclub contributed to the deaths of two students from Brent who where killed in a crush, a jury has concluded.
A lack of management in the cloakroom ay Lava and Ignite in Northampton and crowd’s attitude and behaviour was also a factor.
Nabila Nanfuka, 22, from Neasden, and Laurene-Danielle Jackson, 19, from Wembley, were killed in a deadly surge at the Lava and Ignite nightclub in Northampton in 2011.
The pair both died amid “manic” scenes as clubbers clambered over each other to escape the venue in the early hours of October 19, 2011.
The jury at the two-week inquest at Northampton County Hall was told of a log-jam of people who were rushing for the doors as coaches came to collect people from the Wickedest Wickedest R’n’B event and take them home.
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Between 3.10am and 3.50am, DJs told clubbers to leave the building or risk missing their coach with announcements including “All hotels are booked up, you’ll get left behind.” and “The driver is p***ed off, he’s going to leave you.”
The foreman of the jury said 14 announcements were made in 30 minutes and this was “the most significant factor” in the two deaths.
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She added: “We believe the safe exit from the club was not adequately considered by the promoters and the club.”
The court heard around 1,600 people had attended the night and cloakroom staff stopped taking coats and bags, so clubbers began throwing their belongings over the counter, meaning many items were not properly ticketed.
This meant that some items took up to 10 minutes to retrieve at the end of the night, assistant coroner Belinda Cheney said.
In the midst of the crush of people, a fire alarm was activated at 3.49am which added to the swell attempting to leave the club with one witness saying revellers were “left screaming, crying and moaning”.
Concluding a narrative verdict for the two deaths, Ms Cheney said she hoped club promoters and clubs would “learn lessons from this tragedy”.
Ms Nanfuka, who was studying a leisure and tourism degree at the University of Northampton died on October 19.
Ms Jackson, who was studying psychology at Kingston University and died on November 6.
Ms Nanfuka’s cause of death given as traumatic asphyxia and Ms Jackson as cerebral ischaemia - a lack of blood flow to the brain - and traumatic asphyxia.
Both victims are not thought to have known each other.
The Crown Prosecution Service previously determined there would be no criminal charges brought against anyone following the incident.