Arthur Collins: Police hunt boyfriend of ex-TOWIE star Ferne McCann after Hackney nightclub 'acid attack'

Mark Chandler
Couple: Ferne McCann and Arthur Collins appeared on the front of OK magazine this week: Instagram

Police want to trace the boyfriend of former The Only Way Is Essex star Ferne McCann after 20 people were injured in a suspected acid attack at an east London nightclub.

Detectives are urgently trying to find Arthur Collins, 25, from Hertfordshire, after a noxious substance was sprayed at clubbers in Hackney venue Mangle early on Monday.

People are being warned not to approach him but to call police if Mr Collins is spotted.

They added an address in Hertfordshire was raided on Monday night by officers carrying out an arrest warrant in connection with the attack.

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.

Police want to trace Arthur Collins (Met Police)

"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."

The appeal came on the same day Ms McCann revealed she planned to marry the businessman.

The pair had appeared on the front cover of this week’s OK magazine discussing their future plans.

Two clubbers, aged 24 and 29, were seriously hurt in the attack and have been moved to a specialist burns hospital in Essex, where they are in a stable condition, the Metropolitan Police said.

Ten patients were taken to hospital, while a further two people with similar injuries sought treatment, emergency services said.

On Tuesday, police said the number of victims had risen to 16, then revealed another four had been identified.

The Only Way Is Essex stars Jamie Reed, Jade Lewis and Chloe Meadows were among those forced to leave the bank holiday LoveJuice event.

Emergency services outside the Mangle nightclub where 12 people were burned by noxious substance (@PhieMcKenzie)

Among those hurt was the cousin of ex-Premier League footballer Jamie O'Hara, who later described the attack as "sick".

Australian model Isobella Fraser, 22, was burnt down her arm and back when the liquid seared through her dress and left her unable to breathe, according to reports.

Her sister, Prue, 20, was also scalded by the noxious substance.

Models Isobella Fraser and Prue Fraser were among victims in the acid attack

One victim whose foot was burnt by the acid said she initially did not realise the severity of her injury.

The 25-year-old, who asked not to be named, said: "It was very, very packed in there. All of a sudden down at the back bit of the bar everybody started moving out of the way, I thought there had been a fight.

"Everyone was like 'Go, go, go' and 'Let's move, let's move'.

"Then they started getting everyone out. At the time I didn't realise I had been attacked, I thought someone had dropped a cigarette on my foot but it was getting more red and stinging.

"It's just like a red circle round my toes, around the size of a 50p piece, it is more sore than if you burnt yourself, it is really stinging.

"It is scary because you just go out to have a good night and you realise how close it could have been to being a lot worse."

Hundreds of people were at the venue when the incident occurred, and roads were closed as emergency services, including a hazardous area response team, rushed to the scene.

Witnesses reported several victims were outside with burns across their bodies, while others were seen pouring water on what appeared to be an injured friend.

Detective Inspector Lee McCullough, from Hackney CID, said: "We now have 20 people suffering from the effects of an acidic substance being sprayed in a confined space in a busy nightclub.

“All have burn related injuries. The noxious substance used has not yet been confirmed but samples retrieved from the scene have been sent for analysis. If you were there and saw anyone involved inside or leaving the nightclub, please get in touch."

Anyone with information should call Hackney CID via 101 or via Twitter @MetCC or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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