Two Australian sisters injured by an acid attack in an East London nightclub initially thought it was an act of terrorism.
Isobella Fraser, 22, was visiting her sister Prue, 20, when they suffered chemical burns from a man who threw acid across a nightclub during a brawl at a sold-out Easter event.
The sisters, who were two of 12 injured during the fight, were forced to take themselves to the hospital after ambulances took too long to arrive.
“Basically we were there for about an hour and we were standing down near the second bar and someone was like a fight is about to break out. So everyone was going to one side,” Prue, who's working in London as a nanny, told Sunrise this morning.
“A split second later I was thrown over this fence and I felt something on my arm, and ... it was burning. Someone said acid has been thrown on everyone, everyone was crying, it was just horrific.”
Her sister Isobella was thankful their injuries weren’t worse after learning acid was sprayed on the faces of some of those in the club.
“They could be worse. They’re very painful but I didn’t get it on the face.
“Apparently some people got it in the eye and can’t see. I just have some burns on my arms and on my back, and my shirt actually that I was wearing ... actually stuck to my skin, I had to get it off my skin.”
In the moment the girls were unsure what exactly had happened but knew they had to get out.
“I stood up and felt something wet on my back. I had had a few drinks, I wasn’t thinking properly, but I smelled gas and I couldn’t breathe,” Isobella said.
“I thought they were like gassing people… I had to get out.”
Although separated from her sister during the fight, Prue was also knocked over and sprayed with what the police are describing as “a noxious substance”.
“I thought oh my God, I’m going to die. I honestly thought it was some sort of terrorist attack,” she said.
Over the last four years, acid attacks in London have seen a significant increase.
Police believe acid is rising in popularity amongst gangs due to how easy it is to obtain as well as how hard it is to link the weapon to a specific perpetrator.
Last year, it was used in 454 crimes in comparison to 261 the year before, according to Met Police figures obtained by the BBC.
Almost a third of these attacks happened in the borough of Newham in east London – a neighbouring location to Mangle nightclub.