A NIGHTCLUB has defended its decision to reopen less than two weeks after a student was crushed to death outside.

Durham City MP Roberta Blackman-Woods said she was outraged at the reopening of Missoula in the city centre, following the death of Olivia Burt.

The 20-year-old suffered fatal head injuries outside the club on Wednesday, February 7, and died at the scene.

Her funeral, in Hampshire, is on Monday, and an investigation by Durham County Council and the police is ongoing.

Ms Blackman-Woods said it was unwise and disrespectful of bosses to open the bar and promote events that go on until 2am before the investigation has been completed.

She said a number of students have said that they felt unsafe in the Walkergate complex, where the bar is situated.

She said: “I am outraged to learn that Missoula is open again just a matter of weeks after Olivia’s tragic death in Durham.

“Missoula’s website and Facebook page are still advertising parties and drinks offers, so it appears that despite this tragedy happening right on their doorstep, nothing has changed.

“It is important that the police and the local authority are thorough in examining the causes of Olivia’s death, and it seems very unwise to reopen this establishment before the investigations have concluded.

“There is a real concern amongst residents, including many students, about having so many people in the Walkergate complex late into the night, especially as investigations are likely to identify safety concerns, and the need to adopt measures to address them.

“For Missoula to reopen so soon is not only potentially putting more people in danger, but is incredibly disrespectful to everyone affected by this awful tragedy.”

She has written to the chairman of Durham County Council’s licensing committee calling for the premises to be closed.”

Miss Burt, an only child from Milford-on-Sea, near Bournemouth, was part of the British Sailing team in the European Championships, and was in the first year of a natural sciences degree at Durham University.

A spokesman for the Stonegate pub chain, which owns the venue, said: “Following demand locally and through extensive consultation with the police and other authorities, which continues on an ongoing basis, the decision was made for business to resume.

“It certainly wasn’t one that was taken lightly and we continue to support the inquiry however we can.

“As a mark of respect our venue will close on Monday.”