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Man, 24, second to be partially blinded after nightclub acid attack

The Guardian logo The Guardian 2 days ago Nadia Khomami
Mangle nightclub in Dalston, east London: Officers believe a dispute between two groups of people developed inside the Mangle nightclub. © PA Officers believe a dispute between two groups of people developed inside the Mangle nightclub.

A second person has been partially blinded after an acid attack in a London nightclub that left scores of people with burn injuries.

Detectives continue to search for Arthur Collins, the boyfriend of reality television presenter Ferne McCann, after a total of 20 people were hurt in the attack in the early hours of Monday morning at the Mangle nightclub near London fields. McCann has issued a plea for Collins to turn himself in.

A 22-year-old woman and a 24-year-old man were both blinded in one eye in the attack in the early hours of Monday, which has left “many others” requiring long-term treatment, police said. 

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(Video credit: Reuters)

On Friday police arrested a 21-year-old man – one of three people officers were attempting to trace as part of their investigation – at an address in north London on suspicion of grievous bodily harm. He remains in custody at a north London police station.

A 33-year-old woman, who was arrested on suspicion of firearms offences following the raids on Thursday, has been bailed to return at a later date.

Officers have issued a CCTV image of Collins, 25, and one other man whom they are also seeking to trace in connection with the incident.

© PA

DI Lee McCullough said: “This incident has caused suffering to a large group of people and left a young man and a woman blinded in one eye and many others needing long-term treatment.

“The noxious substance used has not yet been confirmed, but samples retrieved from the scene have been sent for analysis. If you were there and saw anyone involved inside or leaving the nightclub, please get in touch.”

McCullough called the attack awful and said “anyone found harbouring those wanted for questioning by police can expect a knock at the door and could well find themselves under arrest”.

Two of the victims, aged 24 and 29, have been transferred to a specialist burns hospital in Essex, where they remain in a serious but stable condition.

A total of 12 people attended hospital suffering burns, including a 22-year-old woman who suffered injuries to her face and lost the sight in her left eye as a result.

Officers believe a dispute between two groups of people developed inside the venue, resulting in the noxious substance being sprayed by a male suspect directly at two victims.

A spokeswoman for McCann, who is best known for her appearances on The Only Way is Essex and I’m A Celebrity … Get Me Out of Here!, said earlier this week: “Ferne is aware that the police wish to speak to Arthur Collins and the nature of the accusations against him. Obviously these are highly shocking and Ferne has cooperated with the police in their inquiries.

“She was not with Arthur on Sunday night, was not at Mangle, and has no direct knowledge of the events that unfolded. As much as anybody, she wants to know the truth and urges Arthur to cooperate fully with the police and attend a police station immediately.”

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