Two men, aged 52 and 40, have been arrested on suspicion of manslaughter following the deaths of three teenagers at the Greenvale Hotel in Cookstown, Northern Ireland.
Connor Currie, 16; Lauren Bullock, 17; and Morgan Barnard, also 17, died following reports of a crush outside a St Patrick’s Day party at the venue on Sunday evening.
Detective chief superintendent Raymond Murray, head of the serious crime branch, said: “We have already traced the identities of over 160 witnesses and have already spoken to a number of young people who were in the queue at the Greenvale Hotel on Sunday night. Arrangements have been made to speak to many more over the coming days.
“I want to thank everyone who has spoken with us so far, however, there is still a significant number of people who were there that night, in the queue, and I need them to come forward to speak to police so we can understand what happened. Initial CCTV viewing would lead us to estimate that perhaps as many as 400 people were in the queue or car park at that time.
“A number of parents have indicated they are concerned that their children, who may have been underage, were trying to enter a licensed premises. I want to reassure you, the focus of our investigation is not the age of people who were at the event – it is about trying to find answers for the families of the three teenagers who tragically died – we need to know what you saw so the heartbroken families of Connor, Lauren and Morgan know what happened to their children.”
Police and paramedics were called to the hotel shortly before 9.30pm on Sunday and made an urgent appeal via social media for parents to collect their children from the event.
Officers received reports of a crush amongst a large group of young people waiting to enter the disco, as well as of some fighting after the incident, but the exact cause remains under investigation.
Anyone who witnessed the event is asked to contact police on on 101 ext 52014.