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Three dead after St Patrick's Day party at hotel

Sky News logo Sky News 18/03/2019
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Watch: 'It's an absolute tragedy' (Sky)

Three teenagers have died following a party at a hotel in Cookstown, Co Tyrone, the Police Service of Northern Ireland has said.

The two 17-year-olds and a 16-year-old died after a crush towards the front of the Greenvale Hotel, which had been holding a St Patrick's Day party for young people.

Assistant Chief Constable Mark Hamilton said: "Our preliminary investigations show there was a crush towards the front door of this hotel. "There looks like there was a large crowd of young people pushing up against the hotel."

Shortly after the incident, police posted a message on Twitter urging parents to collect their children from the venue. Many young people are believed to have been in attendance. Pic: Brendan Marshall © Getty Many young people are believed to have been in attendance. Pic: Brendan Marshall

Emma Heatherington, whose two sons, aged 17 and 18, had been at the event, said she "felt sick" when she saw the police appeal.

"My two boys were there so I rang them, shaking and thankfully got them both," she said. "They were on their way home at that stage.

"They say there was a huge crowd waiting to get into the venue and then a lot of commotion up near the front of the queue, then they said the emergency services arrived and they were all asked to leave.

"They came home very, very shaken."

The Northern Ireland Ambulance Service said it had taken four people to hospital.

"Three patients have been taken, by ambulance, to Antrim Area Hospital for treatment for various injuries and another to Craigavon Area Hospital."

It had received several calls from about 9.30pm on Sunday and sent two rapid-response paramedics, two doctors and five emergency crews to the scene. a truck on a city street at night: Police say a 'multi-agency incident' is ongoing at the Greenvale Hotel in Cookstown © Sky News Screen Grab Police say a 'multi-agency incident' is ongoing at the Greenvale Hotel in Cookstown

Democratic Unionist Party leader Arlene Foster tweeted that her "thoughts and prayers" were "with everyone impacted by this tonight".

The DUP's Lord McCrea told Sky News: "Young people go out and parents expect their children to come home, but some children aren't going home.

Irrespective of what the circumstances are, it's an absolute tragedy."

Colin Neill, chief executive of Hospitality Ulster, said: "We are devastated to hear of the confirmed PSNI report of at least two deaths this evening at the Greenvale Hotel in Cookstown. "This is shocking and tragic news and our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the deceased."

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