Northern Ireland: 3 teens die in St. Patrick's Day crush

Northern Ireland: 3 teens die in St. Patrick's Day crush

The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) confirmed that a 16-year-old boy, a 17-year-old girl and a 17-year-old boy lost their lives by the entrance of the Greenvale Hotel & Restaurant on Drum Road, Cookstown on Sunday night.

Emma Heatherington, whose two sons, aged 17 and 18, had been at the event, said she "felt sick" when she saw the police appeal.

Reports of assaults during the chaos at the hotel were downplayed by police, who said the struggle to get people off the ground could have led to some fighting.

Assistant Chief Constable Mark Hamilton said Monday that it appears the crowd was pushing toward the door to get into a disco event.

Police initially arrived at the scene after responding to reports of a "crush" at the front of the hotel involving a large group of young people waiting to enter a St Patrick's night party. Police appealed to witnesses not to share images on social media, but to give the material to authorities. "Parents are asked to collect children from Family and Friends reception at Glenavon Hotel".

A huge police presence as well as five ambulances were noted at the scene, which had been cordoned off. CPR was reportedly performed on some of the victims on the ground near the hotel.

'Our thoughts are with her parents, her family and her friends in the coming days as they try to come to terms with their immeasurable loss'. Please do not post photographs or videos online. In that crush people seem to have fallen, we are examining CCTV footage to see if the people who had fallen were the deceased.

The Greenvale Hotel in Cookstown
The Greenvale Hotel in Cookstown

'I honestly can't put into words how much you will be missed.

"They came home very, very shaken with rumours that some people had died".

The teenager went on the explain that there were "more than 100" people who fell down in the crowd, including himself, who was "pinned down" under others and unable to move for "20 minutes".

"My immediate thoughts are with the families of the decease, and everyone else who has been affected".

Sinn Fein deputy leader Michelle O'Neill called it a "parent's worst nightmare".

"Our thoughts are with Lauren's family and friends at this incredibly hard time".

Northern Ireland Secretary Karen Bradley signed the Cookstown book of condolence and met members of the emergency services.

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