Two people seriously injured after suspected acid attack at nightclub
Two revellers have been seriously injured and 10 others burnt in a suspected acid attack at a bank holiday club night, police said.
The seriously injured male victims, both in their twenties, were sprayed with the corrosive substance by a man during an argument at Mangle in Dalston, east London, early on Monday morning.
Police said the victims were in a serious but stable condition in hospital.
Hundreds of people were at the venue, which was evacuated following the incident, and roads were closed as emergency services, including a hazardous area response team, rushed to the scene.
The Metropolitan Police said trouble brewed when two groups of clubbers got into a dispute at the night and the "noxious substance" was sprayed directly at the two victims.
The suspected attacker has not been arrested, police said.
Ten other people received minor injuries after suffering from the effects of the spray, which police believe was acid.
One witness, who asked not to be named, described seeing a group pouring bottles of water over what appeared to be an injured friend.
Video footage seen by the Press Association showed the venue's corridors filled with clubbers wrapped in medical blankets, while fire officers filed past.
Many of the people were sat on blankets which had been laid on the concrete floor and outside, the road was packed with ambulances.
At one stage a girl could be seen sitting at the foot of a stairwell, her head buried in her hands.
The witness said: "In the party in the basement there were girls making noise, I saw their friends ordering a bottle of water - they were putting it on them, they were splashing it on their faces."
They added: "It was like a war - the police were everywhere.
"I just saw a lot of people complaining, there were a lot of staff around, someone had called the police and a lot of people were crying."
The London Ambulance Service (LAS) said it had taken 10 patients to hospital, while police said a further two people with similar injuries sought treatment at a hospital.
A manager of a bar near the club told his staff there had been an acid attack which had left a girl burnt on her face and arm.
Nima Navazande, 30, works at the nearby Martello Hall bar, and took over from his manager for the morning shift.
He said: "My manager told me that around one o'clock they heard somebody saying that someone was attacked with liquid acid and there was a girl who had half her arm and her face burnt.
"My manager had to lock the doors and stay indoors to make sure nobody got in or out."
Emergency services remained at the scene throughout Monday after first being called at 1.10am.
Around 200 people had left the premises before the arrival of emergency services, while the building was evacuated of a further 400.
One tenant at a block of flats overlooking the nightclub described a scene of confusion as crowds were moved up the street.
The woman, who asked not to be named, said: "It happened so fast, they rushed people out, I thought it was a stabbing because all I heard was 'move, move, move - move out of the area'."
She added: "The area was closed off and police vans were there.
"The security were telling the crowd to go down that way - people on this side were waiting to go home but they couldn't go home because the road was closed.
"People were confused."
She claimed residents had long been disturbed by the nightclub since it opened.
Asked if it seemed like it was a matter of time before a police incident, she replied: "Yes. It has been going on since the nightclub opened."
It comes just over a week after a father, mother and their two-year-old son suffered burns after a strong acid was thrown on them in nearby Islington, north London.
No arrests have been made following the assault on the family at the junction of Copenhagen Street and Caledonian Road at around 1.05pm on April 8.
A London Fire Brigade spokeswoman said of Monday's attack: "The only information that we have is that it was an unknown corrosive substance thrown within the nightclub.
"It was identified by a PH paper test as a strong acidic substance."
Police said there was no indication the attack was gang-related.
Anyone with information is asked to call Hackney CID via 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.