Student who died in 'crush' outside club named as Olivia Burt

8 February 2018, 18:51

A university student who was reportedly crushed to death by a barrier outside a Durham nightclub has been named as Olivia Burt.

The 20-year-old, who was in her first year at Durham University, suffered a serious head injury near the entrance to Missoula as people queued to get into venue.

First aiders tried to save her life and attempted CPR but she died at the scene shortly before midnight on Wednesday.

Police are investigating.

Olivia had joined the university in October and was studying natural sciences.

Witnesses described how she became trapped under a fence as students queued to get into the club, before doormen tried to resuscitate her.

One witness, who did not want to be named, told the Northern Echo: "People were barging to get in. The queue has gone around the fence and as they pushed to get in it caused the fence to fall over.

"The girl was trapped under the fence and crushed. There was a fair bit of panic."

The witness said a bouncer took his shirt off to stem the bleeding from the victim's head before delivering CPR with his colleagues.

North East Ambulance Service confirmed CPR was already being given to the woman when its crews arrived at the scene.

In a statement, Missoula said it was "a terrible accident" and that they were working with the police and security company which provides door staff.

Professor David Held, Master of University College, Durham, said the staff and students "acutely feel the loss of Olivia Burt".

"Olivia arrived in Durham last autumn to begin reading natural sciences. She came to Durham with glowing references from her school where she was regarded in the highest possible terms," Professor David Held said.

"She had an outstanding academic record and was an exceptional sports woman. She was part of the British sailing team in the European Championships. Olivia sailed for more than a decade, quickly finding her place in the university team. She became very active both in college life and the wider university.

"Those students close to her have lost a wonderful friend, whom in their shock they grieve for, alongside her family and friends.

"The college has lost a bright and outstandingly able student. It is hard to come to terms with her loss, and we will miss her greatly."

Detective Superintendent Kevin Weir said: "This was a tragic incident and our thoughts are with the family and friends of Olivia during this incredibly sad time.

"A joint investigation is ongoing between ourselves and Durham County Council to establish the circumstances surrounding the incident."

Missoula advertises its Game Over event on Wednesday as Durham's biggest student night. It is in the popular Walkergate area in the city centre, where there are a host of bars and restaurants.