60 teenagers treated for effects of drugs and alcohol outside Hardwell concert at Odyssey Arena in Belfast

The teenagers were trying to gain entry to an electro-house DJ's gig when they were taken ill

Up to sixty young people at a dance music event in Belfast had to be treated for the effects of drugs and alcohol on Thursday night, prompting the ambulance service to declare a “major incident”.

Fourteen of the attendants were admitted to hospital and many more were treated at the scene during an incident in Belfast, health authorities said.

The youths became ill after attending a concert at the Odyssey Arena, where Hardwell, a renowned Dutch electro-house DJ, was headlining.

Odyssey general manager Adrian Doyle said they arrived at the venue already inebriated.

The former Lord Mayor of Belfast, Niall O’Donnghaile, tweeted that he had spoken to police and an “emergency situation” had been called “to help deal with volume of people affected at the scene”. He said the youths had become ill after taking “possibly a drink or drugs or a mixture”.

Michael Copeland, an Ulster Unionist member of the Northern Ireland Assembly, said an eyewitness described the scene as "horrendous".

"It was an event for 16-18-year-olds and around 60 young people have gotten themselves into difficulties with alcohol," he said.

Mr Doyle said he was aware that a major incident has been declared by the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service outside the Odyssey Complex.

"It is our understanding that a number of patrons arriving at the Odyssey Arena to attend a concert by Dutch DJ act Hardwell have required medical attention, having already been intoxicated on their arrival at the Odyssey Complex," he said.

"These patrons were not granted entry to the Odyssey Arena, and were treated by the Ambulance Service outside. Seven patients have now been transferred to hospital by ambulance."

He said the concert continued as normal inside the arena.

"As with any concert, the safety of our patrons is our absolute priority at all times and the event control team is confident that we have sufficient staff on site to maintain a safe and enjoyable concert," he added.

Colin Neill, chief executive of Pubs of Ulster, which represents local bar owners, expressed his concern.

He stressed that the group promotes "responsible and safe" drinking, adding that "pre-loading," or drinking at home before going out, is dangerous.

"[Pre-loading] can lead to unintended consequences with people putting themselves at great risk," he said.

"Parents must stop under-18s getting access to drink and licensees should check ID and exercise extreme caution at all times.

"We urge pubs in Belfast to be extra vigilant this evening - be on the lookout for persons underage and do not admit young people possibly coming from the Odyssey who have had too much to drink."

Additional reporting by PA

News
David Beckham
peopleFootballer joins No campaign
Sport
Angel Di Maria
Football
News
Piers Morgan tells Scots they might not have to suffer living on the same island as him if they vote ‘No’ to Scottish Independence
news
News
i100Exclusive interview with the British analyst who helped expose Bashar al-Assad's use of Sarin gas
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
Keira Knightley and Benedict Cumberbatch star in the Alan Turing biopic The Imitation Game
film
Arts and Entertainment
Rob James-Collier, who plays under-butler Thomas Barrow, admitted to suffering sleepless nights over the Series 5 script
tv'Thomas comes right up to the abyss', says the actor
News
newsIn short, yes
Sport
Angel Di Maria celebrates his first goal for Manchester United against QPR
Football4-0 victory is team's first win under new manager Louis van Gaal
News
Denny Miller in 1959 remake of Tarzan, the Ape Man
people
Arts and Entertainment
Cheryl despairs during the arena auditions
tvX Factor review: Drama as Cheryl and Simon spar over girl band

Arts and Entertainment
art
Arts and Entertainment
Calvin Harris claimed the top spot in this week's single charts
music
Sport
BoxingVideo: The incident happened in the very same ring as Tyson-Holyfield II 17 years ago
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

QA Manual Tester - Agile

£300 - £350 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based in Cent...

Bursar/Business Manager

£70 - £100 per day: Randstad Education Bristol: Experienced bursar or business...

Secondary School Teachers in Ipswich

Competitive & Flexible: Randstad Education Cambridge: Randstad Education are l...

Teaching Assistant

£45 - £60 per day: Randstad Education Bristol: Qualified and/or experienced te...

Day In a Page

These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week
The fall of Rome? Cash-strapped Italy accused of selling its soul to the highest bidder

The fall of Rome?

Italy's fears that corporate-sponsored restoration projects will lead to the Disneyfication of its cultural heritage
Glasgow girl made good

Glasgow girl made good

Kelly Macdonald was a waitress when she made Trainspotting. Now she’s taking Manhattan
Sequins ahoy as Strictly Come Dancing takes to the floor once more

Sequins ahoy as Strictly takes to the floor once more

Judy Murray, Frankie Bridge and co paired with dance partners
Wearable trainers and other sporty looks

Wearable trainers and other sporty looks

Alexander Wang pumps it up at New York Fashion Week
The landscape of my imagination

The landscape of my imagination

Author Kate Mosse on the place that taught her to tell stories