An inquest into the tragic death of a KU student who was killed after suffering fatal injuries in a Northampton night club stampede opened today.
Laurene-Danielle Jackson, from Wembley and studying psychology, was only 19 when she was crushed to death at the Lava and Ignite nightclub on October 19 2011.
During the inquest the jury heard that there were “chaotic” scenes prior to the deadly crush at the “Wickedest Wickedest” event, where thousands of people attended.
Clubbers reportedly started to rush from the dance floor to the cloak room at around 3am when they heard the DJ’s announcement that their coach had arrived to bring them home.
Assistant coroner Belinda Cheney said: “A lot of people ended up being jammed in the cloakroom area with a number of people converging on the staircase and getting stuck.”
Just before midnight the Northampton police had been called to supervise the crowds outside of the event, but inside people were “enjoying themselves”.
According to the coroner, emergency service stepped in only several hours later when the clash developed at around 3.55am.
The coroner added: “At this time police and fire service entered in response to a club call for people trapped in a lift, and ambulances were called to a woman having a panic attack.”
Jackson died almost three weeks after the incident on November 6 in Leicester’s Glenfield Hospital.
She was the second victim of the night club’s tragedy, after Nabila Nanfuka, 22, of Yeats Close, Neasden, who studied leisure and tourism at Northampton University, died of traumatic crush asphyxia.
A 19-year-old who also passed out in the mass of people, said: “I’m sure I passed out for a few minutes. When I came around, I saw a girl’s body below me, to my left.
“Her eyes were closed and she had people lying on top of her. Everybody else was trying to move or screaming, but she was motionless.”
Last year, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) determined there would be no criminal charges brought against anyone following the “tragedy”.
Jackson’s mother, Angela Ferdinand, 42, said: “Nothing that is said or done will bring our Danni back, but with the response of the CPS report it is as if our loved one died in vain. At the moment I am just feeling numbness. I don’t have words.
“As a family we feel that there was evidently gross negligence… Someone needs to be held accountable.”
The owner of Lava and Ignite night club Luminar, also ran Oceana in Kingston, where a man was killed after being stabbed in October 2012. Oceana consequently closed down and Pryzm opened in its place.
Mike Larbi, a friend of Jackson said on Twitter: “I refuse to watch the news. In my eyes she’s still with me, next to me smiling. We will catch up soon, I miss you so much.”
Jackson was also known as “Tiffany”, and when Bridget Tower, the director of studies at KU’s department of criminology and sociology, learnt about her death, she said: “In the short time that Tiffany was with us, she certainly taught us fresh ways of looking at familiar things and encouraged us to ask new and important questions.
“We will miss her very much and are saddened that her academic career has been cut so short. Our deepest sympathy goes out to Tiffany’s family and everyone who knew her.”