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Man arrested on suspicion of attempted murder after car drives into Gravesend nightclub

By KentOnline reporter

A 21-year-old remains in custody under arrests on suspicion of attempted murder after a car was driven into a night club.

Police were called at 11.47pm on Saturday 17 March 2018 after a Suzuki Vitara drove into Blake’s nightclub in Queen Street.

The suspect was taken to hospital with minor injuries but is now in custody.

Emergency services at the scene
Emergency services at the scene

Investigating officer Detective Chief Inspector David Chewter of the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate said: "This was a frightening experience for everyone involved and it is a miracle that nobody was killed.

"This was a frightening experience for everyone involved and it is a miracle that nobody was killed."

"At least 13 people were hurt but none of their injuries are described as life-threatening or life-changing. We believe there are likely to be further casualties who perhaps left the club during the panic and we would like to hear from them.

"We would also encourage anyone who was present at the time of the incident or has photos or original video footage to call 0800 096 1011 or visit https://mipp.police.uk.

"Our investigation is progressing well and I would like to thank everyone who has helped by providing statements or evidence so far, including the staff and management of Blake’s who we continue to work closely with."

Police believe it is not terror related.

A spokesman from south east coast ambulance service said: "We was called to a nightclub in Gravesend in the early hours of Sunday morning following reports a car colliding with the building

"The Trust sent a number of resources including five ambulances and specialist paramedics, to the scene in Queen’s Road where they triage and treated a number of patients on scene and took four with minor injuries and three patients with serious but not life-threatening injuries to hospital."

The incident is being investigated by detectives from the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate in partnership with the Serious Collision Investigation Unit.

Footage posted on social media showed a large car on a chequered dance floor inside a marquee at Blake's nightclub.

BBC Radio 1Xtra DJ Reece Parkinson, who was at the club, tweeted: "A guy who didn't get let in the club just drove his car inside and nearly killed us all.

"I swear man I know this sounds extra but I swear I gotta thank god that could of been it. I can’t believe this."

Gillingham rapper, Richii.B, was in the club when it happened. He said: “Inside the club was madness people were fighting and trying to figure out what’s going on obviously it didn’t take long for word to spread.

“There was a bit of smoke that came through the exit doors and everyone thought it was a faulty smoke machine.

“Then we saw the first person walk in with a bandage around his head blood down his neck and all over his shirt.

“People were rushing to see what had happened but security wasn’t having any of it.

“They announced that ’there was a serious incident in the shisha lounge’ and that they had to close the venue, no one was able to get their coats or anything in the cloakroom.

“When we came outside, police, ambulances and the fire brigade were there, fights everywhere you look, it was carnage.”

Video taken at the time shows the area cordoned off and several police and ambulance vehicles attending.

Cllr Jordan Meade was one of the first to react to the news.

He said: “Shocking to hear about the incident of a man ploughing a car into Blakes Nightclub this evening.

“Thanks to the emergency services for their quick response, to what must have been a terrifying ordeal for all involved.”

Three police cars and the forensic team were still at the scene this morning carrying out investigations.

Someone who was in the club at the time told KentOnline: "You don't expect things like this to happen in Gravesend.

Police at the scene this morning
Police at the scene this morning

"We weren't in the room at the time but we were told a vehicle had come in.

"There's no point going home, I can't sleep anyway. It was meant to be a good night and some idiot messed it all up for us."

With in the last hour Blake's released a statement on it's Facebook page.

It reads: "We strive to create a safe and positive environment for all to enjoy. Last night however, the unpredictable and selfish actions of one individual, ruined a great occasion for all.

"Our thoughts and prayers go out to our guests and staff that were impacted by this incident. Although we are deeply saddened that injuries occurred, we are grateful that no one was fatally hurt.

"We see our guests as family and we want to extend our concerns with them and the entire community of Gravesend, many of which bravely aided the staff and emergency services.

"Thank you to the heroic actions of our door team and guests to apprehend the individual before further harm was caused.

The alleyway next to the building was taped off
The alleyway next to the building was taped off

"We sincerely request that everyone effected and concerned please allow some time for the authorities to conduct their investigations. We are working tirelessly to ensure the necessary actions are taken against the individual in custody.

"Further information will be provided when permitted.

"In the meantime we will do our best to provide support and make sure any guests who are still waiting to collect belongings from our club are able to collect as soon as possible.

"We are grateful for the support and well wishes."

The Town Centre Manager at Gravesend tweeted its praise for emergency services this morning and later added that the market next door will be open as usual.

Rapper Giggs was set to perform at the venue last night. He has not yet commented on the incident.

Parents have commented on the statement left by the nightclub thanking the staff for their efforts and keeping their children safe.

They gave special mention to the staff who detained a man until police arrived.

Another parent told Kent Online: "The marquee was packed and one of the girls has been taken to Kings with a hip injury.

"Another suffered some bruising but is now home from the hospital."

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