Police hunt boyfriend of reality TV star Ferne McCann over Hackney nightclub acid attack

Arthur Collins, 25, is still at large following an incident which left 20 people hurt 

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The Independent Online

Police are hunting for the boyfriend of a reality TV star in connection with an acid attack at a London nightclub that left 20 people hurt, two seriously.

Arthur Collins, partner of Ferne McCann of The Only Way Is Essex, is wanted by detectives over the incident at Mangle nightclub, Hackney.

Two people, aged 24 and 29, were seriously hurt in the attack have been moved to a specialist burns hospital in Essex, according to police. 

Nightclub revellers suffer burns from noxious substance

Police raided Mr Collins’ Hertfordshire home earlier this week and allegedly found a cache of firearms, cannabis plants and cultivation equipment.

A 54-year-old man and a 52-year-old woman were arrested at Mr Collins's address on suspicion of growing cannabis.

Ms McCann appealed to her boyfriend to turn himself in to police.

A spokeswoman for her said: "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 co-operated 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 co-operate fully with the police and attend a police station immediately."

Among those hurt was Australian model Isobel Fraser, 22, along with her sister, Prue.

“I couldn’t breathe, I thought we were getting gassed or I thought it was a terrorist attack or something, I was freaking out because of all the things that have been happening,” Ms Fraser said.

“I was coughing and felt this thing on my arm and realised that it was some sort of acid,” she added. “I have third-degree burns on my arms and on my back, and my shirt that I was wearing actually stuck to my skin.”

Detective Inspector Lee McCullough said: "We now have 20 people suffering from the effects of an acidic substance being sprayed in a confined space in a busy nightclub.

"All have burn-related injuries. 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."

Hundreds of people were at the venue when the incident occurred, and roads were closed as emergency services, including a hazardous area response team, rushed to the scene.

Witnesses reported several victims were outside with burns across their bodies, while others were seen pouring water on what appeared to be an injured friend.

Additional reporting by Press Association.