Three teens die following horrific stampede during St Patrick's Day celebrations in Northern Ireland
Witnesses recounted the horrific scene of panic as shocked onlookers attempted to resuscitate youngsters outside
Three teenagers lost their lives after they were apparently crushed by the front door of a hotel hosting a St Patrick's Day youth disco in Northern Ireland. The two 17-year-olds and one 16-year-old died after a large crowd of young people allegedly pushed up against the Greenvale Hotel in Cookstown, County Tyrone.
As per the Daily Mail, witnesses recounted the horrific scene of panic as shocked onlookers attempted to resuscitate youngsters outside. A fourth child, who was rushed to the hospital in time, is now reportedly in a stable condition. Several have been hurt, some suffering crush injuries, and many more are being treated for cuts, bruises and shock.
Two people were killed and others hurt after 'crush' during a 'stampede' at a St Patrick's Day youth party.— Lilian Chan (@bestgug) March 18, 2019
One of those who died in the incident aged 18
Dozens of young people were caught up in panic outside the Greenvale Hotel in Cookstown, Northern Ireland late last night. pic.twitter.com/3FSPAME8qC
However, some witness refuted the stampede story saying there was no "crush", and the venue's DJ even went on to claim that a "number of young people had become seriously ill." Emma Heatherington, a resident of Donaghmore, whose two sons, aged 17 and 18, had been at the event, told how she "felt sick" when she saw the police appeal.
She said: "My two boys were there so I rang them, shaking and thankfully got them both. They were on their way home at that stage. They say there was a huge crowd waiting to get into the venue and then a lot of commotion up near the front of the queue."
She further recalled, "Then they said the emergency services arrived and they were all asked to leave. They came home very, very shaken with rumors that some people had died. While it's not clear exactly what happened, it's the most tragic ending imaginable to what was supposed to be a celebration of St Patrick's Day."
Another source at Belfast Live informed, "This is a desperate situation on what should have been a fantastic night. It will be memorable for all the wrong reasons now. A lot of people had congregated outside the Greenvale and there was a lot of carry on but suddenly all hell broke loose and there was a big panic."
The same source continued, "People were running all over the place. We were trying to get away. Someone was doing CPR on someone on the ground." Local councilor Trevor Wilson said he had received a call from one of the eyewitnesses who told him, "There seems to have been a stampede."
He added: "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." Police Service of Northern Ireland Assistant Chief Constable Mark Hamilton said that preliminary investigations showed there was a "crush towards the front door".
Police officials later posted on Twitter about the incident, urging parents to pick up their children from the venue on Drum Road. The Northern Ireland Ambulance Service (NIAS) claimed to have received several calls from about 9.30pm last night and sent two rapid-response paramedics, two doctors, and five emergency crews to the scene.
Colin Neill, chief executive of Hospitality Ulster, said: "We are devastated to hear of the confirmed PSNI report of at least two deaths this evening at the Greenvale Hotel in Cookstown. This is shocking and tragic news and our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the deceased."