100 people treated for drug and alcohol effects at gig in Belfast

Charity worker says the site was 'like a disaster zone'

Over 100 gig goers have been treated for the effects of alcohol and drugs at a concert in Belfast.

The fans were attending a show from Dutch DJ Hardwell at the Odyssey Arena in Belfast.

A total of 108 people, including some young teenagers, needed emergency medical help and the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service declared the scene outside the concert as a “major incident” last night (February 6) because of the amount of resources it had to use to treat patients, the BBC reports.

Representatives for the Odyssey Arena told journalists that the people affected were all treated outside the venue because they were refused entry to the gig because they were intoxicated on their arrival.

However, it was confirmed this morning that most patients were actually treated inside the venue by medical staff from the venue’s private security firm. Some 68 people were treated inside the Odyssey and a further 40 were treated outside the building by paramedics.

Some 17 people were hospitalised. Three have since been discharged but 14 remain and are in a stable condition.

Odyssey’s management is understood to be meeting police as soon as possible to discuss the incident, which has been described by one charity worker as “like a disaster zone”.

Police are believed to be investigating claims that underage members of the audience bought alcohol at the venue, and were permitted entry despite being drunk.

“I was dealing with kids with buckets of vomit and they were crying – it was a mess,” Charity worker Joe Hyland, who runs the SOS Bus NI voluntary service told the BBC.

Northern Ireland Ambulance Service spokesman, John McPoland, said many of those treated by paramedics were already intoxicated when they arrived at the venue. Two people were “in an unconscious state” when paramedics treated them.