Clubber describes trying to save girl killed by crush at Northampton nightclub

Dani Jackson
Dani Jackson

A clubber has described his attempts to save one of the students who died following a crush at a Northampton nightclub.

Leonel Oliviera looked traumatised as he told an inquest jury about the crush on the stairs at Lava & Ignite, St Peter’s Way, in the early hours of October 19, 2011, which led to the deaths of Laurene Danielle Jackson, 19, and University of Northampton student Nabila Nanfuka, 22,

He said: “I remember carrying a guy who was semi-conscious outside, getting back inside​,​ and picking up a girl who was fully unconscious.

“I tried to do CPR but she didn’t have ​a​ pulse.

​“​[Outside the club]​ ​​I ​looked up and saw a girl I was initially trying to help.

​“​All these paramedics were around her trying to bring her back to life, but it just wasn’t working.

“That was the last I saw of that girl until I saw her on TV.

​​“I saw the name Laurene Danielle Jackson.​“

Laurene Danielle - known as Dani - died of injuries caused by crush asphyxia at a Leicester hospital 18 days later. Nabila also died of crush asphyxia in hospital, hours after the incident.

The Lava & Ignite event was attended by students from several counties.

A string of witnesses have told the jury of a static crowd of clubbers at the cloakroom just outside the main room at about 3.30am, and a surge of other people trying to leave to get to their coaches.

They talked of skirmishes on the stairs and people at the back of the crowd pushing forward, despite being yelled at by other clubbers and staff.

Some have said they fell and were at the bottom of piles of people before being picked up. Others said they were moved along without their feet touching the floor.

Friends of Dani and Nabila spoke of being separated from them in the surge.

Sabina Defoure - a friend of Dani since primary school - said she last saw her at the bar, where Dani said she would meet her.

When Dani didn’t return, and paramedics could not confirm she had been treated, Miss Defoure began to search the coaches without success.

​“I started to get really worried,” she said, “I was thinking ‘If she’s not here, where would she be?’

“People on the coach were saying that I needed to just go, but all I could think was that I came here with one friend, I’m not leaving without her. Why would I go without her?

Rachel Katongole described seeing her friend Nabila for the last time just before the crush.

She said; “We were​ at the top of the stairs and we were getting pushed and pushed.

“When we looked down it was like a domino effect.

“People were falling to the ground and I remember trying to get up but I couldn’t.

“I thought ‘this is it for me’.”

The inquest continues.