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BY Francis Akhalbey, 7:05am December 19, 2022,

Woman dies after crowd crush at Asake concert in London

Rebecca Ikumelo, 33, succumbed to her injuries after she got caught up in a crowd crush -- Photo via PEOPLE

A 33-year-old mother of two succumbed to her injuries after she got caught up in the crowd crush that happened outside London’s O2 Academy Brixton on Thursday night. According to PEOPLE, the melee outside the venue happened during a concert that Nigerian Afrobeats musician Asake was slated to perform.

The deceased, identified as Rebecca Ikumelo, passed away at a hospital on Saturday, Metropolitan Police said, adding that two other individuals who also sustained injuries are still in critical condition.

Eight people were initially admitted to the hospital as a result of “injuries believed to have been caused by crushing.” On Friday, four of the injured persons were said to be in critical condition. Two other people who sustained minor injuries received medical treatment at the scene. 

In a statement, Ikumelo’s family described the deceased nursing student as “an adorable mother of two children who loved working with kids.” 

“She was well respected in the family for her care, kindness and love,” her family added. “Her parents call her Tosin (short for Oluwatosin) meaning ‘Lord is Worthy’.”

The O2 Academy Brixton also shared a statement commiserating with Ikumelo’s family. In the Saturday statement that was shared on Twitter, the venue said it was “deeply saddened by the news of the tragic death of Rebecca Ikumelo.”

“We send our heartfelt condolences to Rebecca’s family and friends, and our thoughts are with everyone affected by this devastating news at this extremely difficult time,” the venue added.

Largely regarded as Nigeria’s breakout star of 2022, Asake was performing at the venue when the confusion happened outside. Police said they responded to the scene after “reports that a number of people had been injured after a large crowd attempted to gain entry without tickets.”

A video of the incident showed a crowd forcefully trying to make their way into the venue and demanding that the gates be opened. Other people in the crowd were also heard screaming. Police were also seen using force against the concertgoers in other videos that were shared, PEOPLE reported.

“I would ask people to be sensible about what they share, and not to post material that will be upsetting to those affected by this incident,” Met Police Gold Commander Ade Adelekan said in the wake of the incident. Adelekan also described the incident as “extremely upsetting.”

“Where force has been used by police officers, those officers know they have to be accountable for their actions,” Adelekan added. “The Met’s Directorate of Professional Standards will view all material, including body-worn video footage from the officers at the scene. In relation to a clip being widely shared, I can confirm that no police dogs were deployed to the location.”

Adelekan also said that an investigation into what occurred at the venue has since been launched. “The scene will be examined by specialist officers, CCTV will be viewed, every witness that we can make contact with will be spoken to and all other lines of inquiry will be followed,” he said.

Asake discontinued his performance some ten minutes after he mounted the stage. He later shared an Instagram post expressing sympathy to attendees who sustained injuries and others who experienced “any form of discomfort.”

The Afrobeats star also shared another Instagram post on Saturday, saying he was “devastated” after hearing the news of Ikumelo’s passing. “I am overwhelmed with grief and could never have imagined anything like this happening,” Asake, who also said he had spoken to Ikumelo’s family, added. “My team and I are still awaiting the full debrief back from the venue management and the police to determine what exactly led to all the disruption caused and ultimately [led] to Rebecca’s passing. If you have any relevant information, please do reach out to the Metropolitan Police.”

“Rebecca had her whole life ahead of her and on behalf of all Londoners, I would like to extend my condolences to her family and loved ones,” London Mayor Sadiq Khan shared on Twitter. “My thoughts remain with everyone affected by this dreadful incident. It’s vital that the investigation into what happened concludes as soon as possible. City Hall are in contact with venues and authorities across London to ensure nothing like this happens again.”

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: December 19, 2022


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