Officials dispute Facebook group’s claims of ‘crush’ injuries at Take That concert

Take That fans starting to pack in towards the barrier.
Take That fans starting to pack in towards the barrier.
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A FACEBOOK site has been set up after Take That fans claimed they were crushed as they queued to see their idols.

More than 200 people have joined a page on the social networking site, with some claiming they were unable to move in a tight space as they waited for access to the Stadium of Light.

The author of the page claimed she has been left on crutches because her knee was damaged by the pushing crowds waiting for the Progress Live tour.

However, the chairman of the advisory group responsible for safety at the concerts said there had been no reports of injuries caused by crushing,

Lydia Beavington, 27, a Take That fan, who has joined the site, travelled from Bristol with friends to be there for the opening night of the concert.

After queuing from 6.30am in the morning, Lydia said the doors to another holding area were opened at 3pm for people to move forward, which was when she claims problems began.

She said: “The area was too wide and there were no barriers to separate people, so everyone just surged forward and those at the front behind the main barrier were shoulder to shoulder unable to move.

“It was terrible in there. People were asking the security staff to do something about moving the crowds back, but they didn’t.

“One of my friends was right at the front against the barrier. She was feeling really sick and like she was going to faint.”

Lydia said that at 5pm the barrier was removed to allow people into the stadium ground, with many rushing towards the front.

She said: “People were getting stood on and separated from each other. I saw one girl later being stretchered out and her feet were black and blue.”

Sunderland AFC, along with Northumbria Police and Sunderland City Council, says safety was a major priority throughout the Take That concerts.

Paul Weir, SAFC’s safety manager, said: “We work tirelessly with the hugely-experienced safety advisory group for both football and non-football events.

“As a result of a meticulous level of planning and the execution of those plans by stewards and security staff, we delivered four successful and memorable major events, which passed without major incident or serious injury.”

Ken Scott, chairman of the safety advisory group, Sunderland City Council, added: “It is disappointing to hear of anyone that didn’t have a great time at the Stadium of Light over the four nights of the concerts. However, where questioning of the safety procedures and their detailed planning is concerned, we are satisfied that they were fully in accordance with best practice and in accordance with national guidance.

“Those fans attending the shows were clearly a lively and passionate audience, but having interrogated the medical records for the shows and after having conducted detailed debriefs following every show, we can categorically confirm that there were no reported cases of injuries caused either by crushing or those consistent with people being trampled underfoot.”

Temporary Superintendent Bruce Storey, of Northumbria Police, said: “People attending the concerts at the Stadium of Light were extremely well behaved and in good spirits.

”Police made only five arrests for minor offences over the course of four nights.

”We have received no reports or complaints regarding injuries or people having been crushed.”