Good response to appeal for witnesses after fatal crush at county club

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Several people have contacted the police following yesterday’s re-appeal for witnesses to the tragic crushing accident which claimed the lives of two young women last October.

Following the witness appeal launched yesterday, Detective Inspector Louise Hemingway has today (Wednesday) said: “We are very pleased to report that several members of the public have made contact with us since we launched the appeal yesterday and we are actively following up information.

“We would like to thank the people who have already contacted us and would continue to encourage others to take a look at the images on our website at www.northants.police.uk/ClubTragedy and get in touch if they recognise anyone. The images can also be viewed on Twitter by following us @ClubTragedy or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ClubTragedy.”

Police officers investigating the tragic incident at the Wickedest Wickedest event at Northampton’s Lava & Ignite nightclub in October launched the new witness appeal yesterday.

A year on from the tragedy, which led to the deaths of two young women, officers are contacting universities across the country with the hope of identifying remaining key witnesses.

A hard-hitting poster, using a photo from inside the club as the crush was taking place on a staircase, is being circulated to the universities.

CCTV clips from within the club are also being released and circulated via social networking sites in a bid to identify people who were on the staircase both immediately prior to and immediately after the incident.

Approximately 1,500 young people from all over the country attended the Wickedest Wickedest club night at Lava & Ignite on the evening of Tuesday, October 18, into the early hours of Wednesday, October 19.

Many were university students who travelled to Northampton in organised coaches.

Officers have spoken to more than 1,000 people as part of the investigation, including those who attended the event, emergency services staff and staff at the club, but are still working to identify 28 key witnesses in the poster. Officers would also like to speak to anyone who was there on the evening who has not yet come forward.

Detective Inspector Louise Hemingway said: “We have spoken to over 1,000 witnesses and reviewed several hours of CCTV footage.

“In doing so, it has become apparent that, whilst we have a clear picture of what happened, there are a small number of key witnesses that we have yet to speak to who were in the immediate vicinity of where the two young women were crushed.

“We need the help of the people in the CCTV and the poster to piece together what happened.

“No-one is in trouble – we don’t suspect anyone in these images of a crime – we just need their help as key witnesses to what happened during the tragedy so that we can bring our investigation to a conclusion.

“Many of the people attending Wickedest Wickedest were extremely brave and courageous during the incident, showing huge compassion and support for the people who were injured and helping them to safety.

“We are coming up to a year on from the tragic event and are hoping this appeal may jog people’s memories and they may feel that they are now able to speak to us.

“Please contact us if you’re in the poster or CCTV clip or recognise anyone – a photo or video can tell us many things but only the people who were there on the night can tell us first hand.”

Nabila Nanfuka, a 22-year-old student from, Neasden, North London, died at Northampton General Hospital on Wednesday, October 19, 2011. Nabila was studying leisure and tourism at the University of Northampton.

Laurene-Danielle Jackson, a 19-year-old student from from Shepherd’s Bush, died at Leicester Glenfield Hospital on Sunday, November 6, 2011. Laurene-Danielle was studying psychology and criminology at Kingston University London.

Angela Ferdinand and Ronato Jackson, the parents of Laurene-Danielle Jackson, have released a statement appealing directly to those who attended the event, which said: “We would like to make an appeal to any one of the 28 people who have not yet come forward who attended the Lava & Ignite nightclub in Northampton on the 18th of October 2011.

“As parents of Laurene-Danielle who lost her life we can appreciate how upsetting it must be to re-live the tragedy of that night, but we are urging you to please come forward with any information, no matter how small it may be, so that we can try to understand what happened and why we lost our beautiful daughter.

“If it were you we are sure you would want all the information needed to get some kind of closure.

“Please imagine if it was you who had lost a daughter, sister, cousin or niece.

“Laurene-Danielle was only 19 and still had a lot to give in her life and we just need to know what happened.

“There are still a lot of blank pieces that the police need in order to continue their investigation.

“We do not want Laurene-Danielle’s death to go unanswered.”

The investigation remains ongoing and the officers are working alongside health and safety investigators from Northampton Borough Council.

To see the CCTV footage click here.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Northamptonshire Police through any of the following:

Phone: 01604 888006

Text: 07557 775005

Email: northampton-nightclub@northants.police.uk

Post: Operation Seahorse, Wootton Hall, Northampton, NN4 0JQ.

Facebook: www.facebook.com/ClubTragedy

Twitter: www.twitter.com/ClubTragedy

Web: www.northants.police.uk/ClubTragedy