Pop Works nightclub in Doncaster was evacuated in the early hours of Sunday morning (July 30) after the release “chemical substance” — resulting in the hospitalisation of eight people.
South Yorkshire Police attended to the venue, where clubgoers were reported to have been “coughing and vomiting” and “struggling to breathe,” according to LBC.
Eight people were rushed to hospital, but have since been discharged with no further injuries. Police believe that the substance was pepper spray.
Superintendent Peter Thorp from Doncaster has said in a police statement: “While our enquiries into this incident remain ongoing, we want to reassure the wider public that this was thankfully a relatively minor release of something akin to a pepper spray, which didn’t cause any lasting injuries and the majority of people at the venue were unaffected.
“However, the fact remains that whoever chose to bring that substance to the venue clearly did so to cause alarm or injury, and we are working to identify those responsible.
“I’d repeat the request for anyone with information or witnesses to come forward, so we can develop as comprehensive an understanding as we can of what happened.”
Pop Works have since released a statement on Facebook: “On the early hours off Sunday morning around 04:55am we had to evacuate everyone out of the club, this was a big eye opener for us as a business and it was handled very well thank you to our door staff and management…”
“We would like to apologise to everyone who was inside at the time and who was involved in the incident. What a world we live in that people would make businesses harder than it is in this trade after Covid.
“We are deeply sorry,” the nightclub adds. “Our main priority is our customer’s safety and well-being after making sure that the care needed for those involved was provided. Once again we are truly sorry. Thank you to the fire service and the police that came and helped everyone”.
Witness, Rebecca Giovani told Dazed: “All I know is I was standing at the edge of the dancefloor waiting for my friend and I took a drink of my lager and noticed that my mouth, throat and nose were burning”.
“My friend’s daughter was having a panic attack which brought on her asthma due to whatever [the gas] was,” she continued. “She was one of those taken to hospital. We were told it was potentially some kind of gas […] We are still experiencing burning in the mouth and throat and tight chest and headaches.”
Rebecca also explained that she is still feeling the effects from the night, “It scared us enough to not want to go back [to Pop Works].”
Read the full police statement on the incident here.
Becky Buckle is Mixmag’s Multimedia Editor, follow her on Twitter
Written by: Tim Hopkins