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19 October 2011, 10:49
A student was crushed to death and two others are fighting for their lives after panic swept the dance floor at a nightclub in Northampton.
As many as 1400 people from universities all over the countrywere at a rave at the Lava & Ignite Club in Northampton town centre, when there was a stampede for the doors.
The clubbers, who came from universities from all over the region, went to the doors after the DJ announced their coaches had arrived to take them home at around 3.30.
During the melee the fire alarm sounded and, at the exit, 22 year old Nabila Nanfuka (right) was trampled to death. She was a student at Northampton University and came from Neasden in North West London.
Two other women were critically injured and are being treated at Northampton General Hospital. Six other people also suffered crush injuries.
Some of the clubbers frantically called the emergency services for help as they tried to get to the doors.
Superintendent Andy Cox, of Northamptonshire Police, said his officers had been in the area since around midnight because the club was so busy.
"Part of our investigation will be to determine the capacity of the nightclub. There were a significant number of people at the night club but it appeared to have been an orderly event."
He said part of the inquiry will be to determine if the venue was overcrowded and if the fire alarm was activated. CCTV footage from inside and outside the club is being examined by detectives.
"We are working with the promoters, the local authority, ambulance and fire service to establish what happened."
Superintendent Cox said his officers had not received prior warning of such a big rave. He appealed for anyone with information to contact the police.
Student James Adetula, 21, said that he was a friend of Nabila, who studied leisure and tourism at Northampton University.
He said: "There were too many people in the club. It was a uni night and they had come from all over.
"It was so busy that some had to go to another club nearby.
"The fire alarm went off at about 3.30. It was a false alarm. She was knocked to the floor near the fire exit and was crushed by people trying to get over her.
"She was in the wrong place at the wrong time."
Another witness said: "It wasn't even the fire alarm that caused the stampede, although it did go off in the end.
"What happened was that the DJ announced that the coaches were leaving to take the students back to their universities. It was about 3.30 in the morning and there was a big crush as the doors opened and this poor girl was trampled to death.
"There were just too many people. There were about 1400 in the club."
Nabila was one of hundreds from universities who arrived at the rave from all over the region.
The event, which was organised by a company called DNA, was dubbed "the biggest rave in Northampton."
A flyer discarded outside the club read: "Whos (sic) wickedest wickedest." It said "The biggest rave in Northampton is back and celebrating 2 year aniversary (sic)."
Tickets cost £8 before 11pm and £10 after then.
The advert read: "Hip Hop/R&B/Basement/ Afrobeats and whatever keeps you moving!!!"
The entertainers on the night included DNA, Docta Cosmic and Fatz and DJ Kapital.
Police and forensic officers were at the club. It is in the middle of a small shopping arcade and the area has been cordoned off. It will remain shut until the police have finished their inquiries.
Flowers have been left outside the club. A note on one read: "Rest in peace. This tragic accident shouldn't have happened. Let's hope something can be learnt from it. It could have been any of us, sorry it was you. xxx"
Speaking outside the family home, her younger brother Fahad Msimbe said his sister was his `best friend'.
Mr Msimbe said: `She affected so many people's lives and put other people first.
`She is one in a million really. She was my best friend, my sister.
`I still haven't come to terms with the fact she has passed away, it still hasn't sunk in.
`She was a really beautiful person in every way. She was really interested in the leisure and tourism industry, but she didn't have a specific role that she wanted to take when she finished (university).
`My mother is torn apart. She is finding it difficult like most mothers would.''
He said it was good that all his mother's family and friends had come to the house to support her in her time of need.
He said that the family had been up to Northampton this morning and had spoken with police, adding: ``They have started the investigation into why it happened and how it was allowed to happen as the circumstances in which it happened were unusual.''