Woman Dies After Asake Concert Crush at Brixton Academy in London: 'An Adorable Mother of Two'

Rebecca Ikumelo, 33, died in a hospital on Saturday morning following a crowd crush outside a London concert on Thursday

Rebecca Ikumelo . Woman Dies After Asake Concert Crush at Brixton Academy in London . Credit: Metropolitan Police UK
Photo: Metropolitan Police UK

Rebecca Ikumelo, a 33-year-old mother of two, has died following Thursday's crowd crush outside of London's O2 Academy Brixton.

The deadly incident took place outside Afro-pop singer Asake's concert at the popular music venue. Metropolitan Police announced that Ikumelo died in the hospital Saturday morning.

Two other women, aged 21 and 23, remain in critical condition, per police.

Rebecca Ikumelo . Woman Dies After Asake Concert Crush at Brixton Academy in London . Credit: Metropolitan Police UK
Metropolitan Police UK

The incident outside the concert initially left eight people hospitalized due to "injuries believed to have been caused by crushing," with four in critical condition early Friday. Two others were injured less seriously and treated by London Ambulance Service at the scene, according to a release.

A statement from Ikumelo's family, and shared by police, read that she was a nursing graduate and "an adorable mother of two children who loved working with kids." A postmortem examination for Ikumelo, who was from Newham, east London, will take place on Sunday.

"She was well respected in the family for her care, kindness and love," the family continued. "Her parents call her Tosin (short for Oluwatosin) meaning 'Lord is Worthy'."

Authorities were called to the venue around 9:35 p.m. local time Thursday night during the Asake performance, "following reports that a number of people had been injured after a large crowd attempted to gain entry without tickets," per police. Video from the incident surfacing online shows several people pushing toward the front of the venue and asking for the doors to be opened. Some in the crowd could be heard screaming.

Police officers search the area outside Brixton Academy Crowd crush at Asake concert, O2 Academy Brixton, London, UK - 16 Dec 2022
James Veysey/Shutterstock

Other clips from the night showed police officers using force against attendees, which Metro Police said they were aware of. In one video, an officer can be seen apparently pushing a woman down steps. "I would ask people to be sensible about what they share, and not to post material that will be upsetting to those affected by this incident," Met Police Gold Commander Ade Adelekan said at the time, calling it an "extremely upsetting incident."

"Where force has been used by police officers, those officers know they have to be accountable for their actions," Adelekan continued. "The Met's Directorate of Professional Standards will view all material, including body-worn video footage from the officers at the scene. In relation to a clip being widely shared, I can confirm that no police dogs were deployed to the location."

A police investigation into what took place outside the venue is underway, Adelekan shared. "The scene will be examined by specialist officers, CCTV will be viewed, every witness that we can make contact with will be spoken to and all other lines of inquiry will be followed."

O2 Academy Brixton shared in a statement on Twitter Saturday that it is "deeply saddened by the news of the tragic death of Rebecca Ikumelo."

"We send our heartfelt condolences to Rebecca's family and friends, and our thoughts are with everyone affected by this devastating news at this extremely difficult time," the venue wrote.

Asake, who stopped his show 10 minutes into the set Thursday, previously shared a statement to his Instagram, writing that his "heart is with those who were injured last night and caused any form of discomfort." On Saturday, he sent his "sincerest condolences" to Ikumelo's loved ones in an updated post, adding that he had already spoken with her family and will continue to do so.

"I am overwhelmed with grief and could never have imagined anything like this happening," he wrote. "My team and I are still awaiting the full debrief back from the venue management and the police to determine what exactly led to all the disruption caused and ultimately [led] to Rebecca's passing. If you have any relevant information, please do reach out to the Metropolitan Police."

Officials shared in a Saturday release that the investigation has been "painstaking and forensic in its nature," involving an online page allowing for the submission of photos and videos taken at the venue.

"I can assure Rebecca's family and friends that this work will continue for as long as necessary," Chief Superintendent Colin Wingrove, policing commander for Lambeth and Southwark, said. "We are determined, along with our partners, to do everything we can to establish exactly what happened on Thursday night."

London Mayor Sadiq Khan wrote in a Tweet that he was "heartbroken by the tragic death of Rebecca Ikumelo."

"Rebecca had her whole life ahead of her and on behalf of all Londoners, I would like to extend my condolences to her family and loved ones," he wrote. "My thoughts remain with everyone affected by this dreadful incident. It's vital that the investigation into what happened concludes as soon as possible. City Hall are in contact with venues and authorities across London to ensure nothing like this happens again."

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