No more beach parties, says Fatboy Slim after Australian nurse dies

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The Independent Online

An Australian woman injured in the chaotic aftermath of a party on Brighton beach hosted by the DJ Fatboy Slim died yesterday.

An Australian woman injured in the chaotic aftermath of a party on Brighton beach hosted by the DJ Fatboy Slim died yesterday.

Karen Manders, 26, who was a nurse at Homerton Hospital, east London, was being treated at the Royal Sussex County Hospital after falling 20ft over seafront railings hours after the party ended on Saturday. Ms Manders' parents flew from Brisbane to be with her.

News of Ms Manders' death came as Fatboy Slim, whose real name is Norman Cook, said he would probably not host another such party.

A quarter of a million revellers swamped the seaside resort on Saturday night. About 100 people were hurt and a man aged 40 died of a heart attack.

Sussex Police had initially treated Ms Manders' fall as suspicious but said yesterday that she had lost her balance. A spokeswoman said: "The detectives are satisfied that no-one else was involved. It appears to have been a tragic accident. She may have lost her balance while sitting on the barrier having become separated from her friends."

Yesterday, Fatboy Slim said public safety was paramount and warned that he could not risk a repeat of the chaos by organising another similar event. "We probably won't do it again. I don't take safety issues lightly. I will only do it again if we can guarantee people's safety and if that many people are going to come, then we can't."

A beach party planned by Channel 4 for Brighton's seafront this Sunday was cancelled after Saturday night's scenes, which included six sea rescues, human gridlock and people clinging to ambulances to escape the crush.

Brighton and Hove City Council said it could not guarantee the safety of revellers so soon after the Big Beach Boutique. Ian Duncan, the chairman of the council's culture, regeneration and housing committee, said: "There is no guarantee that the members of the safety advisory group could realistically estimate the number of people that might attend the Channel 4 event. Therefore, the decision not to go ahead with the event has been taken on safety grounds. Channel 4 has been informed."

Mr Duncan said the cancellation did not signify a permanent end to similar events on the seafront.

Public safety concerns were compounded by warnings issued by environmental experts about the amount of broken glass left behind on the beach at the weekend.

While a massive clean-up operation has been under way since Sunday, the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) said the beach could be dangerous for years due to embedded glass from broken bottles. Peter Cornall, the head of water and leisure safety at RoSPA, said: "The difficulty on a pebbly beach is that you cannot use a mechanical rake so any glass you do not manage to pick up manually remains embedded for a long time."

A spokesman from Encams, the environmental charity that awards beach flags, said: "We would see it as the duty of the organisers of a beach event to provide sufficient facilities to get rid of rubbish or to encourage plastic bottles on the beach. However, in this case, we understand that the numbers who attended the party were not anticipated by the organisers."

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