A 21-year-old man is in police custody on suspicion of attempted murder after he rammed his car into a nightclub in south-east England in anger over being denied entry to the venue that left at least thirteen people injured.
Kent Police said 13 people had been injured in the incident late last night at Gravesend, Kent, which was not being treated as terror-related.
“This was a frightening experience for everyone involved and it is a miracle that nobody was killed,” said Detective Chief Inspector David Chewter, the investigating officer from the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate.
He confirmed that none of the injuries suffered by the 13 victims are described as “life-threatening or life-changing” after the suspect drove his Suzuki Vitara into Blake’s nightclub on Queen Street in Gravesend.
“Officers attended and arrested a 21-year-old man on suspicion of attempted murder. He is believed to have been asked to leave the club earlier in the evening following an altercation. The man suffered minor injuries and was taken to hospital as a precaution but is currently in custody,” a Kent Police statement said.
Witnesses at the scene said the 4×4 had been driven into a tented area full of people. It is believed the car drove along an alleyway alongside the club before crashing into it. Footage posted on social media appeared to show a car inside a tented area with people being led to safety by police.
In a statement, Blake’s nightclub thanked the “heroic actions” of door staff and guests who it said apprehended the man “before further harm was caused”.
The club said it was “deeply saddened that injuries occurred” but was “grateful that no-one was fatally hurt”.
It added: “We strive to create a safe and positive environment for all. Last night however, the unpredictable actions of one individual ruined a great occasion for all.”
Gravesham Borough Council praised the response of the emergency services in a tweet.
“The Blake’s nightclub incident last night (Saturday, 17 March) was shocking for all involved, but was handled very well by the emergency services and the staff at the nightclub. The incident is not terrorism related,” the Twitter statement said.