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EXCLUSIVE: Bournemouth Club evacuated due to 'tear gas' was 'heaving' and 'horrendously full', students say


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Some students are claiming the Bournemouth club evacuated after a suspected 'tear gas' incident was crammed with so many people it was "chaotic" and "unsafe".

Police were called to Cameo Club in Bournemouth at 2am this morning (29 September) after an irritant substance - reported to be CS spray - was released, leading to people experiencing shortness of breath and itchy eyes.

Credit: Phoebe Cornish

Forty clubbers required medical attention, with one person taken to hospital as a precaution. The venue was hosting a gig by rapper Yungen as part of Freshers' Week events.

Some clubbers have since reported their concerns about how full the venue was.

Credit: Phoebe Cornish

Speaking to TNS, Fresher Beth described how she and her group of friends left early due to the club being full of so many people.

She said: "The club was horrendously full! We even spoke to security on the way out about how it was just awful and nobody would move! Was way to full and me and my friends all had to leave because it was too full!"

Fellow BU Fresher, Abbie, agreed with these concerns. She said:

"Yes it was very full, you could not move. Me and my friend left about 5 minutes before the incident as we felt it was unsafe to have so many people in one room. Everyone was pushing each other and I had my hair pulled numerous amounts of time. It was chaotic.

"We even asked to speak to the manager when we left, to tell them that it wasn't safe, but he didn't come down to talk to us."

Multimedia Journalism student Phoebe Cornish told TNS the club “was heaving” and said when people became irritated by the substance: "It was really chaotic and confusing because everyone sort of backed away from the front of the dance floor”.

Credit: Phoebe Cornish

She went on to say: “It was boiling hot and people were packed together in the crowd as expected of a nightclub but also more intensely than I’d ever experienced. It wasn’t until people dispersed in a hurry from the substance that I could see just how many people there were as we spread to the perimeter of the venue”.

The substance, described by Phoebe to have “caused coughing fits and discomfort to our eyes”, was allegedly released just before rapper Yungen’s set. He came out and began performing but was stopped part way through and left the stage. There was reportedly five minutes between Yungen leaving the stage and security evacuating clubbers out of the building, when a fire alarm began ringing.

The police have not found the source of the substance in the nightclub and inquiries are ongoing.

Cameo Nightclub have said "there is no truth in any claims of over capacity". A spokeswoman provided this statement in response to our request for comment: "Cameo is a professional well run venue and the safety of customers is our main priority. At the time of the incident there were only 2,000 people in the venue, which is well under its 2,500 capacity." The spokeswoman also informed us how Cameo has "since received some very positive feedback" about how quickly and professionally the club team evacuated the venue.

This article was updated at 14.20 to include a statement from Cameo Nightclub. 

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