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

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive or Senior Sales Executive - B2B Exhibitions

£18000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Executive or Senior Sal...

Recruitment Genius: Head of Support Services

£40000 - £55000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Warehouse Team Leader

£22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This industry leading company produces h...

Recruitment Genius: Business Development Manager / Sales - OTE £40,000

£20000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT provider for the educat...

Day In a Page

A nap a day could save your life - and here's why

A nap a day could save your life

A midday nap is 'associated with reduced blood pressure'
If men are so obsessed by sex, why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?

If men are so obsessed by sex...

...why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?
The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3

Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner

The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3
The bathing machine is back... but with a difference

Rolling in the deep

The bathing machine is back but with a difference
Part-privatised tests, new age limits, driverless cars: Tories plot motoring revolution

Conservatives plot a motoring revolution

Draft report reveals biggest reform to regulations since driving test introduced in 1935
The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory