Three teenagers have now been confirmed dead following a St Patrick’s Day party at a hotel in Cookstown.
A 17-year-old girl, a 17-year-old boy and a 16-year-old boy have died following the incident at the Greenvale Hotel on Sunday night.
Two other teenagers were also treated in hospital.
The police said there were reports of a crush at the scene and inquiries indicated that a large group of young people were waiting to enter the St Patrick’s Day disco.
Paramedics, doctors and five emergency crews were dispatched to the venue at about 9.30pm.
A PSNI spokesperson said: “First and foremost our thoughts this morning are very much with the families of the three young people who passed away and those who were injured.
“It is heart-breaking that an event which should have been fun for these youngsters on St Patrick’s night should end in such a terrible tragedy.
“Our investigation is at an early stage, and while the exact cause of the incident is still unknown, there are reports of a crush at the scene and initial enquiries indicate that a large group of young people were waiting to enter a disco.
“We also have reports of some fighting after the incident commenced and at least one person has reported that they were assaulted.
“We are continuing to interview people who were there to establish the full facts and would appeal to anyone who witnessed what happened to contact police on 101 ext 52014.
“We need parents to talk to their children this morning and encourage them to come and tell us what happened. Please do not post photographs or videos online. Please share them with the PSNI.
“We would also ask motorists who have dash cam footage, as well as anyone who captured the incident on their mobile phone through photographs or video, to upload them to Major Incident Public Portal https://mipp.police.uk/”
Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council, Lord Mayor Julie Flaherty, posting on Facebook, said: “Having lived and worked in Cookstown for many years before I was married and had Jake I can tell you this. My friends in Cookstown are like family to me.
“I know the devastation they will feel now and in the months ahead..it’s an awful road those mummies and daddies, and family and friends will walk…
“They are strong people-they will rally together and put their arms around these families.”
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