The parents of a university student who died in an incident outside a nightclub in Durham last week say they are “totally devastated and heartbroken” by the loss of their “beautiful daughter”.
Olivia Burt, from Hampshire, suffered fatal head injuries in an incident outside Missoula nightclub on Wednesday night.
Despite the best efforts of door staff, the ambulance service and police to revive her, the 20-year-old was pronounced dead at the scene.
Olivia’s parents have released a statement paying tribute to their daughter, who was in her first year at Durham University, where she was studying natural sciences.
They said: “We are totally devastated and heartbroken by the loss of our beautiful daughter, Olivia.
“She was a wonderful young woman and our words cannot truly express how much we miss her.
“We request that we be allowed to grieve in private and will not be releasing any further statements”.
A joint investigation into the circumstances surrounding Olivia’s death has been launched by Durham Constabulary and Durham County Council.
The incident happened during a popular student night at the Walkergate venue and several hundred people are thought to have been queueing outside the premises at the time.
Over the last few days, police have spoken to a large number of people who were in the area on Wednesday night, but are now appealing for those who were nearest to Olivia at the time of the tragedy to come forward.
Detective Inspector Andy Smith, of Durham Constabulary’s Major Crime Team, said: “This was a tragic incident and the whole focus of our investigation at this time is to find out exactly what happened to Olivia.
“We have now spoken to a large number of people who were there on the night, both those working in the area and those who were queueing to get into the nightclub.
“Officers have also examined CCTV footage from the scene, showing the moments leading up to the incident.
“We appreciate there were potentially several hundred people outside the premises, but we are appealing for witnesses to come forward from among those who were closest to Olivia at the time of the incident and saw what took place”.
Any witnesses who were close to the incident at the time are asked to ring Durham Police on 101.