Over 80 Manchester students were trapped in a halls lockdown party
Firefighters had to break the flat door down with a sledgehammer and an axe
Police, firefighters and paramedics were called to Unsworth Park halls in the early hours of Saturday morning to free over 80 students who were trapped in a flat whilst attending a party.
The fire service confirmed that the students were trapped due to “a malfunctioning door mechanism”. Police and paramedics also attended, the Manchester Evening News reports.
A TikTok posted of the scene said: “The door got locked and nobody could leave or enter.” It showed people throughout the ordeal, saying: “Still stuck here, everyone screaming”, and then: “Not going well, fire alarm gone off. HELP”, before showing “a girl passing out”.
It then says the “fire brigade [is] on the way”, showing many people sitting on the floor of the halls corridor. Fire fighters manage to open the door, and students are shown rushing out of the flat and outside the building. It also shows police, an ambulance and a fire engine.
Chloe Kigira, a student inside the flat told the Mancunion: “I was locked in a bedroom but I could see people overheating and stressed in the hallway.
“We let people in to use toilets. Several girls were fainting and having panic attacks. The environment was very stressful. I was crying when I got out. It was such a shambles.”
— izzy (@izzy_b32) November 28, 2020
The halls building got evacuated after being woken up by the fire alarm in the early hours of the morning whilst the fire fighters tried to free the trapped students.
At least one student was reported to have fainted and many said they were distressed and overheated.
The students were eventually freed safely after several hours.
The police are investigating to find those responsible for the party and issue fines for breaking lockdown restrictions.
A university spokesperson said: “A serious incident took place at Unsworth Park where a large gathering of more than 80 people in a flat led to a fire alarm being triggered.
“There was an issue with the door mechanism in the flat which led to the emergency services being called to assist.
“Fortunately no-one was seriously injured. We are looking into the issue with the door mechanism and every similar door at Unsworth Park is being checked today.”
Police Chief Superintendent Paul Savill, said: “In the early hours of Saturday morning, police were called to Owens Park in Fallowfield to reports of a gathering inside a flat.
“An individual inside required medical attention but the occupants had become locked inside due to a fault with the door and emergency services were required to force entry to the flat before assisting the person in need.
“The circumstances surrounding the incident made it difficult to reach the person who needed our help and further highlights the risks of these large gatherings.
“Thankfully the individual is safe and well and we’re continuing to work closely with the University of Manchester to encourage students to follow government legislation to stop the spread of coronavirus and ensure the safety of our communities.
“We are investigating the circumstances surrounding this particular gathering and are looking to issue those responsible with retrospective fixed penalty notices for the breach of coronavirus legislation.”
A spokesperson for Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service added: “At around 2am on Saturday 28 November, GMFRS was called to a student accommodation block on Chancellors Way, Manchester where a large number of people were trapped inside a building due to a malfunctioning door mechanism.
“A fire engine from Withington attended and upon arrival the crew assessed the situation and decided it was necessary to use force to gain access. ”
“Firefighters used an axe and a sledgehammer to enter via the stuck door. GMFRS was on the scene for roughly two hours.”