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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Three stabbed at London music awards

Peter Walker

A music awards show in London erupted into chaos last night after a triple stabbing saw one guest seriously injured and two other hurt.

Police sealed off the 6th Annual Urban Music Awards at the indigO2 Arena in London, keeping 300 people inside the venue until the early hours of this morning, after the violence broke out. One man was arrested.

The event, which featured nominations for performers including Leona Lewis, Estelle, Adele, Dizzee Rascal and Duffy, was abandoned after 90 minutes.

One eyewitnesses spoke of "blood all over the floor" after a huge brawl involving up to 30 people broke out at around 10pm, sending champagne bottles and chairs flying. Another guest spoke of guns being seen inside the venue.

Andre Nevling, 24, said a woman sitting at his table ended up drenched in blood.

"Obviously the guy who got stabbed must have run straight past her and she's pretty shaken up," he said.

"I came out of the auditorium and looked at her and she was just standing there. I saw blood all over the floor and then I was like, 'Jesus you're covered in it'," he said.

Another eyewitness, who asked to remain anonymous, said: "I didn't see what happened but there were champagne bottles flying and I hid under the table."

Ambulance staff said three people were treated at the scene and then taken to London hospitals. None of the injuries was believed to be life threatening.

It was not yet known whether any of the nominees were at the ceremony. An advertisement on the World Music Awards website from two weeks ago claimed that those scheduled to attend would include Amy Winehouse, Craig David, Mica Paris, Sienna Miller, Dwaine Chambers and Ian Wright. Tickets were available for general sale.

After the brawl police cordoned off an area inside the auditorium, a 2,350 capacity venue within the indigO2 Arena, formerly known as the Dome, in Greenwich, south London.

Around 300 guests were kept inside the building and only allowed out one at a time after they were questioned.

Some of those attending complained that security measures had been insufficiently tight. Natalie Williams, 32, said: "There was no security, nothing. Before anything even happened I commented to my boyfriend, because we live nearby and come here a lot, and we usually get screened coming into the building. Tonight there was nothing."

Another guest, Emma Fairclough, said there were reports of guns being spotted at the event. She said: "I have spoken to two people who said they have seen guns in the arena this evening."

• This article was amended on Monday November 17 2008. In the article above we said that the 6th Annual Urban Music Awards had taken place in the O2 Arena. It took place in the indigO2 which is beside the O2 Arena. This has been changed.

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