A second woman has died after sustaining injuries in a crush at the O2 Brixton Academy on Thursday night.
Gabrielle Hutchinson, 23, who was working as a contracted security provider during the Asake concert, died in hospital in the early hours of Monday morning.
The Metropolitan Police launched an ‘urgent investigation’ after reports that a large number of ticketless fans attempted to force entry into the music venue for Afrobeats singer Asake’s sold-out concert.
It comes after mother-of-two Rebecca Ikumelo, 33, from Newham, east London, died from her injuries in hospital on Saturday.
A third woman, 21, remains in hospital in a critical condition.
All three women were critically injured in the crush were all in the foyer of the building of the Brixton O2 Academy, the force added.
Gabrielle Hutchinson died in hospital after a gig in Brixton on Thursday night resulted in a suspected crush
Gabrielle Hutchinson, 23, who was working as a contracted security provider during the Asake concert, died in hospital in the early hours of Monday morning
Chief Superintendent Colin Wingrove, policing commander for Lambeth and Southwark, said: “It is devastating news that a second person has lost their life following the events on Thursday.
‘I wish to express my heartfelt condolences to Gabrielle’s family at this unimaginably difficult time.”
Detectives from the Met’s Specialist Crime Command are investigating the incident, and are continuing to appeal for witnesses to contact them.
The police cordons outside the venue have been removed, but cordons remain in place inside the building while officers continue to examine the scene.
The force said they had referred themselves to the Independent Office for Police Conduct, adding it is a ‘standard national practice following all incidents where police have been in attendance and members of the public have died or been seriously injured’.
Rebecca Ikumelo (pictured), 33, from Newham, east London, died in hospital after being critically injured in the crush which unfolded during Nigerian artist Asake’s concert on Thursday
Nigerian star Asake’s (pictured) concert descended into chaos after fans were filmed clashing with police outside Brixton’s O2 Academy
The scene outside the Brixton O2 Academy in south London on Friday morning
Video footage shows a large crowd gathered outside the Brixton O2 Academy on Thursday
Tributes flooded in for ‘adorable’ Rebecca Ikumelo following the news of her death on Saturday.
In a statement, Rebecca’s family said: ‘Rebecca was a graduate of nursing. She was 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 parents call her Tosin (short for Oluwatosin) meaning “Lord is Worthy”.’
Nigerian artist Asake said he was ‘devastated’ and ‘overwhelmed with grief’ after hearing the news of Ms Ikumelo’s death.
Rebecca Ikumelo (pictured), 33, from Newham, east London, died in hospital this morning after being critically injured in the crush which unfolded during Nigerian artist Asake’s concert on Thursday
In a statement posted on Instagram, Asake said: ‘I am devastated by the news that Rebecca Ikumelo who was in a critical condition since Thursday has sadly passed away.
‘My sincerest condolences to her loved ones at this time. Let us please keep her family in our prayers. I have spoken to them and will continue to do so.
‘I am overwhelmed with grief and could never have imagined anything like this happening.
Who is Afrobeat pop star Asake?
A suspected crowd crush during a performance by Asake comes two weeks after the Nigerian Afrobeats singer-songwriter featured in a BBC list of up-and-coming music stars.
The incident which left eight people in hospital, marked a sad chapter in the rising career of one of 2022’s breakout talents.
Asake, 27, whose real name is Ahmed Ololade, was nominated for BBC Radio 1’s Sound of 2023 award recognising artists breaking through in the UK.
He was part of the 10-strong longlist chosen by a panel of more than 130 industry experts and artists, including Sir Elton John, Dua Lipa, Sam Smith and Celeste, after building a committed UK listenership.
The Lagos-based singer, who now has 3.2 million monthly listeners on Spotify, had spent years partaking in Nigeria’s underground afrobeat’s scene before collaborating with Grammy-award winning artist Burna Boy on track Sungba this year.
His debut album Mr Money With The Vibe emerged at number 22 in the official UK charts after its release in September.
In a previous interview with Rolling Stone magazine, Asake said: ‘There is something you need to know about me: Everything is like a dream to me, something I’ve imagined before, so I am not amazed by anything that comes or any level that I am. I just give thanks.’
As one of this year’s breakout stars, Asake has made a name for his distinctive live shows, having brought a goat on-stage during a US show and reportedly handing out cash to fans in Birmingham after arriving late to the performance.
Ahead of the Brixton concert on Thursday, Asake, who performs in two of Nigeria’s most popular languages Yoruba and Pidgin, had posted on Twitter asking fans not to come to the venue unless they had a valid ticket.
The performance was the third of three sold-out dates at the 4,921-standing capacity venue and concluded a run of UK dates.
‘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 to Rebecca’s passing.
‘If you have any relevant information relating to this please do reach out to the Metropolitan Police.’
The Met Police said specialist officers are providing support to the family of Rebecca Ikumelo and that a post-mortem examination will be held tomorrow at Greenwich Public Mortuary.
Ms Ikumelo leaves behind two sons, Jamael and Joelle. The single mother worked as a nursing associate in sexual health until her older child was diagnosed with autism in 2020.
The 33-year-old had 13.4k followers on TikTok and 1.15k on YouTube and used her platform to raise awareness about autism.
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said City Hall is in contact with venues and authorities across the capital to make sure ‘nothing like this happens again’.
‘I am heartbroken by the tragic death of Rebecca Ikumelo who has very sadly died following the awful events on Thursday night in Brixton,’ he said.
‘Rebecca had her whole life ahead of her and on behalf of all Londoners, I would like to extend my condolences to her family, friends and loved ones at this extremely difficult time.’
Academy Music Group, which owns and runs music venues across the UK, said in a statement: ‘All at O2 Academy Brixton and Academy Music Group are 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.’
Chief Superintendent Wingrove, policing commander for Lambeth and Southwark, added: ‘I’d like to extend my sympathies to all those who have been affected. Having seen some of the really upsetting images on social media our thoughts are with them.
‘An urgent investigation is currently under way led by detectives from our Specialist Crime Command and cordons remain in place as officers continue to work at the scene. This is still a fast moving and evolving picture and we are working to establish the events that led up to the incident.
‘We are also aware of a vast amount of footage on social media and of course this will be examined as part of the investigation along with footage from officers’ body worn video cameras.
The crush occurred when hordes of ticketless fans forced entry into the iconic south London music venue
‘We are working incredibly closely with our partners and community members and would like to thank them for their support so far in the investigation. We would also like to thank people for coming forward with information.
‘We have set up an online page for the submission of photos and videos. There were around 4,000 potential witnesses present at the time of this incident and we want to urge any members of the public with information to come forward. We need your information as we try to establish what happened as quickly as we can.’
Any witnesses who are yet to speak with police are asked to call 101 ref 6725/15Dec.
Meanwhile, the force has insisted that there is ‘no evidence of misconduct’ against a Met Police officer who was filmed pushing a reveller down stairs outside the O2 Academy.
However the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) said it will review the footage as part of its own probe into the chaotic scenes on Thursday evening.
It comes as an MP is calling for answers to what led to the crowd crush, stating that ‘ticketing and security procedures have not performed as they should have’.
Florence Eshalomi, Labour MP for Vauxhall, said in a statement posted on Twitter: ‘It is very clear ticketing and security procedures have not performed as they should have for this incident to have occurred.
Emergency services attended the Brixton O2 Academy on Thursday night to reports a number of people had been injured
‘We need answers about exactly how this happened and safeguards against it in future. This will be fully investigated by Specialist Crime detectives, supported by Lambeth Council’s Licensing Unit.’
After hearing the news of Ms Ikumelo’s death today, Ms Eshalomi added: ‘I’m devastated to learn that Rebecca Ikumelo has died as a result of her injuries sustained in the crush at the Brixton Academy on Thursday evening.
‘I visited the site again this morning and I’ve been dreading this news ever since the incident, hoping it would never never come. My thoughts and prayers to Rebecca family and friends. Such a tragic loss of a young 33yr old woman with so much life ahead of her.
‘My prayers to the other two women who remain in a critical condition.’
Belgian band 2manydjs was forced to cancel their 20th anniversary party at the O2 Academy Brixton on Saturday night.
A statement shared on Twitter yesterday said: ‘It is with pain in our hearts that we have to announce that due to the terrible events that happened at O2 Academy Brixton last night, we are being forced to postpone tomorrow’s show.’
A concertgoer who narrowly avoided being crushed by crowds told how she watched one girl almost die in front of her.
Vicky Osinlaru, a 27-year-old radio presenter from Croydon, suffered a panic attack when hordes of ticketless fans forced entry into the iconic South London music venue to see Nigerian artist Asake.
Miss Osinlaru took refuge in the first aid room and watched as medics battled to save the life of one reveller.
She told MailOnline: ‘I could see there was something happening in the ticketing hall. I went out and saw that the security were literally holding onto the front doors for their lives.
‘The doors were shaking and all of a sudden, they burst open. I remember a man, wide-eyed with shock, shout ‘Thank God for my life’ as he collapsed on the floor. He didn’t have his shoes on and was completely breathless.
‘Then another woman was brought in, she looked to be aged in her late 20s, wearing jeans and a top but she was unconscious. She didn’t even appear to be breathing.
‘Her face was lifeless as she was laid down on the floor by a medic who gave her CPR for about 20-minutes to half-an-hour.
‘They were giving her chest compressions, really sting pumps to the chest, but from what I could tell there was very little sign of life.
Afrobeats singer Asake released a statement on Instagram this morning
Asake asked fans on Sunday not to attend if they did not have a ticket, adding that none were for sale on the door
‘Eventually the ambulance arrived and the medics were continuing CPR to save her life as they escorted her out.
‘I don’t know what happened to her but I really hope she pulls through.
‘It was so traumatic to witness something like that, I haven’t been able to sleep at all because it’s been playing on my mind.
‘I’ve been to the O2 on numerous occasions but there were so many fans who had come to see Asake and because it was his last night playing in Brixton, people didn’t want to miss out.
‘But what happened last night was horrific, people were seriously, seriously hurt.’
A video shared on TikTok of the night captured the moment Asake told his fans that ‘3,000 people have broken the door outside’.
In the footage, he said: ‘Because of security police have asked us to close the show. We apologise to you, this is nothing to do with us or the promoter. This is basically… listen to what I am saying.’
He then passes the mic over and fans are told to ‘leave the same way you came in’ and promised that they will be given a refund on their purchased ticket.
Moment a woman strikes a police officer in the face outside the O2 Academy in Brixton on Thursday night
In another video, the crowd inside the venue can be heard booing when an announcement was made from the stage saying the show was being closed.
The gig, which saw Asake touring his debut album Mr. Money With The Vibe, was pulled part-way through.
It was the final of three sell-out shows the Nigerian singer, who had the break-out hit Lady in 2020, had performed at the Brixton music venue, which has a standing capacity of 5,000 people.
On Sunday, the musician tweeted fans to ask them not to come to the O2 Academy if they did not have a ticket, adding it was sold out and no tickets were being sold on the door.
The London Ambulance Service said that they were called to the Brixton 02 Academy at 10.06pm.
10 people were treated at the scene, eight of those were taken to hospital and two were discharged.