Belfast Telegraph

Friday 28 August 2015

Chaos at the Odyssey as 2,000 teens arrive for under-age disco

By Gary Grattan and Lesley-Anne Henry

Published 16/02/2009

Police at the scene of the disco in February
Police at the scene of the disco in February
Police at the scene of the disco in February
Crowds outside the Odyssey disco in February

The PSNI had to be called in to evacuate thousands of teenagers from an under-age disco in Belfast last night.

Four times too many teens turned up for the event at Bar Seven in the Odyssey Pavilion and organisers were forced to call it off amid health and safety concerns.

Crowds had gathered from about 5.30pm and by 7pm, an hour after the doors opened, there were chaotic scenes with around 2,000 teenagers demanding entry.

It is understood a number of fights broke out and some youngsters sustained minor injuries during a stampede.

A decision was taken to halt the disco and those already inside were evacuated through a fire exit — leading to thousands of teenagers spilling on to the street.

Last night a spokeswoman for the PSNI confirmed: “An under 17 event has been cancelled due to health and safety concerns. It was called off by the organisers and evacuated by the PSNI and Harbour Police at about 7pm.

“It is understood a very large number of teenagers had gathered inside and outside for the event.”

No arrests were made.

Ciara Gorman (14), from Antrim Road, Belfast, said: “A lot of us were lying on the floor. There were people standing on top of each other. At times it was like a stampede. I got my arm hurt.”

Sarah Reid (15), also from the Antrim Road area, said: “We were all dancing and having a good time when suddenly the music stopped. I just heard someone saying ‘everyone out’ and then they opened the fire exit doors. It took a while for us to try and work out what was happening.”

Another 15-year-old reveller, who declined to be named, said: “We were already inside and there was a good crowd. Everyone was enjoying themselves but then we heard there was a really big crowd outside the main doors waiting to get in and it all seemed to get out of control. They came and told us we would have to leave by the fire exit so they started getting us out.”

And a girl who also did not want to be named told how she was pressed up against the doors and had to get friends to pull her out.

It is understood the young people paid £8 admission charge but this is expected to be re-funded.

Last night no one from Bar Seven management was available for comment. A member of staff told the Belfast Telegraph a statement would be made available later in the week.

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