Rebecca Ecomelo: Sadiq Khan leads tribute to Brixton’s party crush victim


On Saturday, Adiq Khan led a memorial service for a woman who died after a mass rally outside the O2 Academy in Brixton.

Rebecca Icomelo, 33, was one of three people seriously injured when fans without tickets tried to enter a show by Nigerian artist Asake at the South London venue on Thursday.

Met Police confirmed Ms Icomelo, of Newham, died in hospital on Saturday, while two women, 21 and 23, remain in critical condition.

Rebecca Icomelo, 33, who died after crowds mobbed outside the Asake concert at O2 Academy Brixton

/ PA wire

Mayor Sadiq Khan paid tribute, writing: “I am heartbroken by the tragic death of Rebecca Ecomelo who died of great grief following the horrific events on Thursday night in Brixton.

“Rebecca has had her whole life ahead of her and on behalf of all Londoners I want to offer my condolences to her family, friends and loved ones at this very difficult time.”

“My thoughts remain with everyone affected by this horrific incident. It is essential that the investigation into what happened concludes as quickly as possible. City Hall is in contact with venues and authorities across London to ensure nothing like this happens again.”

Ms. Icomelo was a nursing graduate and mother of two, her family said.

“She was a wonderful mother of two who loved working with the children. She was highly respected in the family for her care, kindness and love.

Her parents call her Tosin (short for Oluwatosin) meaning “the Lord is worthy.”

Asaki said he was “devastated” and “overwhelmed with grief” after hearing the news of Ms. Icomelo’s death.

“My sincerest condolences to her loved ones at this time. Let’s put her family in our prayers please. I have spoken to them and will continue to do so,” he wrote on Instagram.

“I am overwhelmed with grief and could not have imagined anything like this would happen.

“My team and I are still awaiting a full debriefing from site management and the police to determine exactly what led to all the turmoil that caused Rebecca’s death and ultimately.

“If you have any relevant information on this matter, please contact the Metropolitan Police.”

Scotland Yard has launched an “urgent” investigation into the incident. Postmortem examinations will be conducted on Sunday.

The Met previously said a woman had been arrested for assaulting an officer over the incident and investigators were looking at footage on social media and from body-worn cameras.

The crowd is out of place

/ Palestinian Authority

Senior Superintendent Colin Wingrove, the chief constable for Lambeth and Southwark, urged witnesses or anyone with information to come forward.

“There were around 4,000 potential witnesses present at the time of this incident and we want to urge any member of the public to come forward with information.

“We need your information as we are trying to determine what happened as quickly as we can.”

The force also said the footage, which depicts an officer pushing a woman off the steps of the venue, was evaluated by the Occupational Standards Directorate and “there is no evidence of misconduct”.

Florence Ishalomi, the Labor MP for Vauxhall, said in a statement posted on Twitter: “We need answers on how exactly this happened and safeguards against it in the future.

“This will be fully investigated by specialist crime investigators, with support from the Lambeth Council Licensing Unit.”

A woman present at the scene told the Standard she fell when a crowd rushed inside and was “kicked like a football”.

“I was going to the concert and I had a crush from behind,” she said.

“I fell, they were stomping on my head. I couldn’t breathe.”

“There was a woman next to me in a very bad way too. A security guard was injured and a pregnant woman was resuscitated outside.

“I thought I caught my last breath, I still have flashbacks.”

Asake, whose real name is Ahmed Olulwede, was recently shortlisted for the BBC Radio 1 Sound of 2023 award – for UK Hit Artists.

Before the concert, he urged the crowd not to go to the venue without a valid ticket.

The concert was the third of three sold-out dates at the 4,921-capacity venue and concluded a string of dates in the UK.

The Academy Music Group, which owns and operates music venues across the UK, said in a statement: “Everyone at O2 Academy Brixton and the Academy Music Group is deeply saddened by the news of Rebecca Icomelo’s tragic death.

“We send our heartfelt condolences to Rebecca’s family and friends, and our thoughts are with everyone affected by this devastating news at this very difficult time.”

Any witnesses who have not yet spoken to the police are asked to call 101 Ref 6725/15Dec.

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