Driver who smashed car into nightclub dancefloor stopped by 'heroic' revellers

A driver who allegedly ploughed his car into a nightclub, injuring several people, was apprehended by "heroic" revellers and door staff, the venue has revealed.

Mayhem descended on Blake's in Gravesend, Kent, when a man - who police believe was kicked out following an altercation - drove his vehicle on to the dancefloor on Saturday night.

The suspect was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder, Kent Police said.

Witnesses described "a complete mess of panic and chaos" as the alleged attack unfolded shortly before midnight.

A statement posted on Facebook by the club on Sunday morning hailed the bravery of onlookers in bringing the incident to a close.

It said: "At Blake's 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."

At Blake's we strive to create a safe and positive environment for all to enjoy. Last night however, the unpredictable...

Posted by Blake's on Sunday, March 18, 2018

Details on the conditions of those injured have not been released and the incident is not being treated as terrorism.

Footage posted on social media showed a large car, headlights still shining, on a chequered dancefloor inside a marquee at the Blake's nightclub.

In another clip, security staff appear to surround the driver, and a reveller can be heard asking: "Why did he try and do that?". Another replies: "I'm so confused."

Shocked clubbers spilled out onto the street as emergency services arrived, with footage showing police cars, fire engines and ambulances lined up outside the venue.

Witness Sonny Powar said he saw two people get hit by the car before the driver was pulled from the vehicle.

"(It was) just a normal night out at Blake's Nightclub in Gravesend in Kent," he told the Press Association.

"But some guy wasn't let into the club or got kicked out so he drove his 4×4 into the tent we was all in.

"It stopped at my feet so any further and I could have died, then he reversed up and we all ran.

"We ripped the tent wall apart and got out and called the police.

"It was a complete mess of panic and chaos."

BBC Radio 1Xtra DJ Reece Parkinson posted a video from inside the club on Twitter.

He said in the video: "My god I nearly died, so I'm in this club and this car came through the f****** club.

"A guy who didn't get in drove through the club."

Witnesses described the car crashing into the nightclub (PA/Sonny Powar)
Witnesses described the car crashing into the nightclub (PA/Sonny Powar)

Kent Police said they were called to a nightclub in Queen Street at 11.47pm on Saturday.

The force said: "Kent Police has arrested a man on suspicion of attempted murder after an incident in Gravesend where a number of people have been injured when a car drove into a nightclub building.

"The driver of the vehicle who is believed to have been asked to leave the nightclub earlier that evening following an altercation has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder and is currently in custody.

"This is not been being treated as a terror-related incident."

Kent Fire and Rescue Service said it had sent two fire engines to the scene to assist the police.