AN MP last night demanded a "thorough investigation" into the circumstances surrounding a crushing incident which claimed the life of a student outside a nightclub.

Durham City's Labour MP Roberta Blackman-Woods criticised the authorities for having "not taken a blind bit of notice" over concerns she had raised about safety in the complex where the tragedy unfolded.

She said: "I told them somebody would die and somebody has died. And that doesn’t make me feel any better, it makes me feel really awful that none of the agencies listened."

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The MP spoke as tributes continued to pour in for Durham University undergraduate Olivia Burt who suffered fatal head injuries when she became trapped under a barrier outside Missoula nightclub at the city's Walkergate on Wednesday night.

Witnesses described a scene of panic as a glass and metal barrier toppled on top of the 20-year-old as scores queued to get into the club.

Desperate attempts were made by doormen and paramedics to resuscitate Miss Burt but she was pronounced dead.

Students said there had been barging in the queue outside the venue, which had been holding its weekly Game Over event, billed as Durham's biggest student night.

Dr Blackman-Woods said concerns about safety at licensed premises at Walkergate over the last ten years had been "batted away".

"In fact it was worse than that – I was told to shut up and stop damaging the city," she said. "I’m certainly not going to be shutting up now until I get some answers and, moving forward, I’m going to make sure there is proper action taken this time."

She added: "I have to say how sorry I am about the fact that a student has died. It is really terrible. Obviously we are thinking of her family and friends.

"We have written to Durham Police and Durham County Council saying that we want a really in-depth look at what has gone wrong. I am also really really sad, because actually I think this was really preventable.

"As long ago at 2007 I raised concerns with (the then) Durham City Council about the design of Walkergate.

"When it first opened there weren’t nightclubs. But when the nightclubs opened I raised with them a whole lot of issues about safety and the management of people.

"I was really criticised by that council at the time for talking the city down, whereas what I was trying to raise were genuine safety concerns."

The MP said she raised concerns again over the management of the complex with the county council in 2012.

"I am going to be asking that the licensing arrangements are really looked at in some detail. I wish they had listened," she said.

"It's not just about size of the queues. Its about the structure of Walkergate that pushes people into really confined spaces. There are also very high walls. To be honest I’ve been amazed no-one has been hurt falling off one of the walls, especially when you get lots of people. It’s terrible that it’s taken the death of a student for people to maybe wake up.

"I am going to give parents an assurance that this is going to be thoroughly investigated and this time I am not going to rest until they do something."

Joanne Waller, Durham County Council’s head of environment, health and consumer protection, said: “First and foremost, our thoughts are with the family and friends of Olivia Burt following her tragic death on Wednesday night.

“Since the incident, we have been working closely with police and have now begun a health and safety investigation. We are unable to say any more at this stage.”

Miss Burt, a former head girl at Bournemouth School for Girls, and an only child from Milford-on-Sea, between Bournemouth and Southampton, had only joined Durham University in October and was studying natural sciences.

She was an accomplished sailor, having been part of the British Sailing team in the European Championships.

Former schoolmate Megan Stone said: "She was the most genuine and loveliest person with a heart of gold."

Lymington Town Sailing Club posted: "We are devastated to hear news of the death of Olivia Burt. A talented young Laser sailor who was always smiling around the club. Our thoughts are with her family at this terrible time."

Chris Atherton, senior high performance manager with the Royal Yachting Association (RYA), said: "Olivia's passion for sailing always shone through and all those who knew her in the sailing community will miss her tremendously; she was both a likeable and fair competitor.

"Our thoughts and sympathies are with the family and friends of Olivia at this sad time."

Missoula, formerly known as the Slug and Lettuce pub, opened in September 2016 following a £385,000 investment.

Phoenix Security which provides door staff, declined to comment.

A Missoula spokesperson said: "Ten SIA licensed door supervisors from a specialist security door service company were employed to manage security on the night of the accident.

 "We continue to assist police and the company who provide our door staff, to fully understand what led to this terrible accident. Until that is concluded we are unable to comment further. Our thoughts are with Olivia’s family and friends”