Hackney club acid attack: Police hunt for Arthur Collins

An appeal has been made to help find a man for questioning about an acid attack in an east London nightclub.

Detectives want to speak to Arthur Collins, 25, from Hertfordshire, over the incident which saw 20 people suffer burns inside Mangle E8.

Mr Collins is believed to be the boyfriend of TV personality Ferne McCann. She urged him to go to a police station immediately.

A witness said the attack left two men “unable to see”.

Officers believe a dispute between two groups of people resulted in a noxious substance being sprayed directly at two people and hitting others.

Police do not believe the attack was gang related. No arrests have been made.

Ferne McCann appeared in The Only Way Is Essex, I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here and This Morning.

Three other stars of The Only Way Is Essex – Jamie Reed, Jade Lewis and Chloe Meadows – were also reported to be among the hundreds evacuated from the LoveJuice event.

A spokeswoman for Ms McCann said: “Ferne is aware that the police wish to speak to Arthur Collins and the nature of the accusations against him.

“Obviously these are highly shocking and Ferne has co-operated with the police in their inquiries.

“She was not with Arthur on Sunday night, was not at Mangle, and has no direct knowledge of the events that unfolded.

“As much as anybody she wants to know the truth and urges Arthur to co-operate fully with the police and attend a police station immediately.”

Emergency services were called to the nightclub in Hackney at 01:10 BST on Monday.

Twelve people were taken to hospital for treatment, while two men aged 24 and 29 have been taken to a specialist burns unit at an Essex hospital.

A 20-year-old woman, who was also injured in the attack, said “they couldn’t see”.

She said the men were “two black guys, but their faces were turned white because of the acid”.

The witness, who asked not to be named, said she had not see any argument or fight in the club but “in the space of two minutes people went from dancing to the acid being thrown”.

“I was standing by the bar and then I got hit by something that at first felt like water but then my arms started blistering,” she said.

A 25-year-old woman who suffered burns to her foot said people in the “packed” venue suddenly started shouting “go, go, go” and “let’s move, let’s move”.

She said the acid had caused a “red circle” around her toes around the size of a 50p piece, which caused a strong “stinging” pain.

Some witnesses have criticised security saying sufficient searches had not been carried out at the event but the club’s owners have not commented.

The company behind the event tweeted it was co-operating with the police investigation.

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