Hunt for Dalston nightclub acid attacker

Updated: 

A suspected acid attacker is being hunted by police after he sprayed corrosive liquid in a packed nightclub, injuring at least 12.

Two clubbers were seriously hurt when the substance was thrown during an argument at Mangle in Dalston, east London, early on Monday morning.

Among those injured was the cousin of ex-Premier League footballer Jamie O'Hara, who later described the attack as "sick". 

Police said no one had been arrested.

The Only Way Is Essex stars Jamie Reed, Jade Lewis and Chloe Meadows were among those forced to leave the bank holiday LoveJuice event. 

One witness described how the attacker had produced the bottle of acid when a bouncer attempted to kick him out.

"I was at the bar with friends and a guy was pushing some people around," clubber Scott Kempster, 25, told The Sun. 

"A bouncer asked him to leave, but he grabbed his arm and pulled a bottle out of his pocket.

"He sprayed the bouncer and my friend and some girls got hit. At first everyone thought it was water, then people started running as they realised it was acid. 

"The guy who threw it then started throwing other stuff before he ran off."

Hundreds of people were at the venue when the incident occurred, and roads were closed as emergency services, including a hazardous area response team, rushed to the scene.

Witnesses reported several victims were outside with burns across their bodies, while others were seen pouring water on what appeared to be an injured friend.

One witness whose foot was burnt by the acid said she initially did not realise the severity of her injury.

The 25-year-old, who asked not to be named, told the Press Association: "It was very, very packed in there, all of a sudden down at the back bit of the bar everybody started moving out of the way, I thought there had been a fight.

 "Everyone was like 'Go, go, go' and 'Let's move, let's move'.

 "Then they started getting everyone out, at the time I didn't realise I had been attacked, I thought someone had dropped a cigarette on my foot but it was getting more red and stinging.

 "It's just like a red circle round my toes, around the size of a 50p piece, it is more sore than if you burnt yourself, it is really stinging.

 "It is scary because you just go out to have a good night and you realise how close it could have been to being a lot worse.

 "I'm a bit disappointed with the club because they were frisking and checking our bags, but there were a considerable amount of people hurt so it must have been a whole bottle, it shouldn't have got into the club."

The London Ambulance Service said it took 10 patients to hospital, while police said a further two people with similar injuries sought treatment at hospital.

Celebrity Big Brother star O'Hara posted a picture of his relative Sadie Wright's scalded face, writing: "Sick that my cousin got burnt from this acid attack in hackney, innocent people get injured for the sick act of violence, guy should get life."

A London Fire Brigade spokeswoman said: "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."