Belfast Telegraph

Video: Dozens 'crushed and trampled' at Jamboree in the Park country music concert in Co Tyrone

By Claire Cromie

A concert promoter has admitted being overwhelmed by crowds at a country music gig in County Tyrone on Saturday, where dozens complained they were "crushed and trampled".

AJS Promotions organised the event at the Ecclesville centre in Fintona, where singer Derek Ryan had to stop his performance a number of times when crowd safety got out of control.

Video footage appears to show people pinned to the ground, screaming and being walked over.

David McMahon from Castlederg, who was at the event, told the BBC: "We are very lucky we are not looking at death today. The amount of people that were crushed and shoved was disgraceful.

"There were a couple of hundred people coming and going all the time and at one point everyone made a mad panic to the doors. I have no idea why the doors were closed."

He added: "There was no stewarding inside the actual hall.

"We stood back and at one point there were people lying on top of one woman."

Callers to the Nolan Show described people crying and having panic attacks at the event.

Andrew Short, from AJS Promotions, told Stephen Nolan it was a bottleneck, rather than a stampede, but described it as "very, very scary".

"I was in the middle of it with security men. The music was cut and we made an announcement," he said.

"We opened the bottom doors and directed people to the bottom of the arena to create a one-way system.

"The gate outside however had been closed. So with our safety plan, there was a disruption and music was stopped."

He said the main entrance was not big enough to cope with the surge of people.

Police said there were "no crush related call-outs" but officers manning the event spoke to the organisers to get more doors open.

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