Two teenagers die in St Patrick‘s Day party ‘crush‘

HORROR: An incident at a St Patrick‘s Day party in Cookstown, County Tyrone, has left two dead (Pic: TWITTER/)

The Police Service of Northern Ireland said there were a “small number” of other casualties following the incident at the Greenvale Hotel.

While the circumstances of what happened are still under investigation, there were reports of a crush, police added.

The ambulance service said it had taken four people to hospital.

Assistant Chief Constable Mark Hamilton said: “I can confirm there are two fatalities at this stage and a small number of other casualties.”

TRAGIC: Police said there were reports of a crush at the scene in Cookstown (Pic: TWITTER/)

He added: “While the exact cause of the incident is still unknown, there are reports of a crush at the scene.”

The hotel had been holding a St Patrick‘s Day event, and police urged parents to pick up their children from the venue in Drum Road.

Police posted on Twitter shortly after the incident, urging parents to pick up their children from the venue on Drum Road.

Emma Heatherington, whose two sons, aged 17 and 18, had been at the event, said she “felt sick” when she saw the police appeal.

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“My two boys were there so I rang them, shaking and thankfully got them both,” she said. “They were on their way home at that stage.

“They say there was a huge crowd waiting to get into the venue and then a lot of commotion up near the front of the queue, then they said the emergency services arrived and they were all asked to leave.

“They came home very, very shaken with rumours that some people had died.”

The 42-year-old, of Donaghmore, Co Tyrone, added: “While it‘s not clear exactly what happened, it‘s the most tragic ending imaginable to what was supposed to be a celebration of St Patrick‘s Day.”

MAP: Cookstown is in the centre of Northern Ireland in County Tyrone (Pic: GOOGLE)

A member of staff at the nearby Glenavon Hotel said they had heard the sirens as emergency services rushed to the scene, and said police had come to borrow their defibrillator.

“There were ambulances passing our entrance,” he said.

“It‘s scary, and you just hoped everyone was OK.

“It‘s very sad to hear what happened.”

NORTHERN IRELAND: Cookstown is around an hour‘s drive from Belfast (Pic: GOOGLE)

CRUSH: The incident happened at Greenvale Hotel (Pic: GREENVALE HOTEL)

“They came home very, very shaken with rumours that some people had died”

Emma Heatherington

The Northern Ireland Ambulance Service (NIAS) said it had received several calls from about 9.30pm on Sunday and sent two rapid-response paramedics, two doctors and five emergency crews to the scene.

The service added: “Three patients have been taken, by ambulance, to Antrim Area Hospital for treatment for various injuries and another to Craigavon Area Hospital.”

Colin Neill, chief executive of Hospitality Ulster, said: “We are devastated to hear of the confirmed PSNI report of at least two deaths this evening at the Greenvale Hotel in Cookstown.

“This is shocking and tragic news and our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the deceased.”

Democratic Unionist Part leader Arlene Foster tweeted that her “thoughts and prayers” were “with everyone impacted by this tonight”.

A source told Belfast Live there was a stampede.

They said: “A lot of people had congregated outside the Greenvale and there was a lot of carry on but suddenly all hell broke loose and there was a big panic. People were running all over the place.

“We were trying to get away. Someone was doing CPR on someone on the ground.”

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