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Commendations for 17 people who helped during manic scenes at Northampton nightclub crush

A CCTV image shows the crowds of people trying to leave the Lava and Ignite nightclub in October 2011. Photo:

Policemen, firefighters, ambulance crews and members of the public have been recognised for their actions during a fatal crush at a nightclub in Northampton.

Nabila Nanfuka, 22, and Laurene-Danielle Jackson, 19, died after being injured as a surge of people tried to leave Lava and Ignite in October 2011.

At a special ceremony this week, members of Northamptonshire's three emergency services as well as three members of the public were awarded formal commendations for the way they responded to the situation.

They included Chinedu Ani, who had repeatedly tried to pull people out of the staircase crush and to safety. He received a standing ovation.

The event, held at Northampton High School, heard how the actions of three police officers, five fire officers, and six East Midlands Ambulance Service workers had helped to bring the emergency under control and limited the number of people seriously injured.

"This was a very challenging and stressful incident where split-second decisions had to be made. We are extremely proud of the actions taken by the emergency teams.

"They worked together very effectively, in tremendously difficult circumstances. They showed a great deal of compassion in supporting trapped, distressed and injured members of the public."

– Richard Henderson, Director of Operations, East Midlands Ambulance Service.
Nabila Nanfuka, 22, and Laurene-Danielle Jackson, 19.

An inquest at the end of last year found a series of announcements by a DJ at the club had been the "most significant factor" leading to the deaths of the two students.

A total of 14 announcements - including "All hotels are booked up, you'll get left behind" - were made in 30 minutes, creating manic scenes and a log-jam as clubbers rushed for the doors.

Adrian Davis, of Northampton Fire and Rescue Service, said the conclusion of all investigations into the crush had meant it was now appropriate to recognise those people who had helped on the night.

The full list of people receiving commendations were:

  • Northamptonshire Police: Karen Canwell, Joshua Deville, Steve Neal.
  • East Midlands Ambulance Service: Mark Davies, Sasha Tinston, Helen McDonnell, Charlotte Lewis, Mark Kilby, Keith Sharp.
  • Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue: Steve Swann, Nick Ferrison, Jamie Thompson, Mark Doran, Ian Kingston.
  • Members of the public: Leonel Oliviera, Chinedu Ani, Olabanji Gellately-Olanrewaju.
17 people received commendations for their actions during the crush at Lava and Ignite. Credit: Northamptonshire Police.
17 people received commendations for their actions during the crush at Lava and Ignite. Credit: Northamptonshire Police.
17 people received commendations for their actions during the crush at Lava and Ignite. Credit: Northamptonshire Police.
17 people received commendations for their actions during the crush at Lava and Ignite. Credit: Northamptonshire Police.