Belfast Telegraph

Fintona Jamboree in the Park concert chaos 'like Hillsborough disaster'

BY CLAIRE WILLIAMSON

Country music fans caught up in the middle of the chaotic scenes during the crowd surge at the Jamboree in the Park were minutes away from disaster, an expert who reported on the Hillsborough disaster has warned.

Dramatic scenes were caught on camera after the crowds surged towards the main entrance in to the concert in Fintona, Co Tyrone on Saturday night, as singer Derek Ryan was about to perform.

The main way in to the venue was also the only exit from the Ecclesville Centre's arena to the toilet area, which created a major blockage and led to a number of people sustaining injuries.

Professor Phil Scraton was one of the authors of a report in to the 1989 Hillsborough disaster.

"Déjà vu of Hillsborough is the first thing I thought when I saw the video footage," he said.

"These people are in a facility that is not built to accommodate a concert.

"If people go down on the ground and people fall on top of them, they have no more than four minutes to live.

"The council needs to give an explanation."

Rachel Noble (33) was caught up in the drama as she celebrated her sister Camilla's hen party.

She told the Belfast Telegraph: "Every time the crowd moved forward, you were carried with the crowd, it was so scary."

Omagh council, the PSNI and fire service have said they are investigating the incident.

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