Published: Mon, March 18, 2019
Worldwide | By Jermaine Blake

Cookstown deaths: youngsters die in St Patrick's Day stampede

Cookstown deaths: youngsters die in St Patrick's Day stampede

Two people have died and others have been taken to hospital amid reports of a crush at a hotel in Cookstown, Co Tyrone, the emergency services have said.

"Our preliminary investigations show that there was a crush toward the front door of this hotel, and in that crush, people seem to have fallen, said Mark Hamilton, an assistant chief constable with the Police Serice of Northern Ireland (PSNI)".

The Northern Ireland Ambulance Service said it received several calls last night following reports of a number of people having sustained serious injuries.

A special event has been laid on today for young people who may need support in the wake of the three tragic deaths last night in Cookstown.

"We made an urgent appeal via social media to parents of the young people to come and collect them from a Friends and Family Centre which was established in the nearby Glenavon Hotel".

The incident was reported to police at around 9.30pm, with police crew still now on the scene.

The ambulance service said: "NIAS despatched two rapid response paramedics, two doctors and five emergency crews to the scene".

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Mr Hamilton said and "an extensive police investigation" had begun amid reports of fighting at the disco.

"Three patients have been taken, by ambulance, to Antrim Area Hospital for treatment for various injuries and another to Craigavon Area Hospital".

Speaking from the scene to the BBC, UUP councillor Trevor Wilson said: 'There's clearly a deep sense of shock here tonight that an event for young people just wanting to celebrate St Patrick's night went so horribly wrong'.

"They were on their way home at that stage".

Democratic Unionist Party leader Arlene Foster tweeted that her "thoughts and prayers" were "with everyone impacted by this tonight".

Police are interviewing those present, and Hamilton urged parents whose children attended the event to tell police what happened.

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