A 19-year-old Durham student died outside of Missoula nightclub last night following reportedly being crushed.
Olivia Burt, 20, who was studying at Durham, was pulled out with a bleeding head wound amid frantic and emotional scenes.
A resuscitation attempt was made by a doorman, but to no avail.
The former head girl at Bournemouth School for Girls was out with fellow members of the university sailing club on Wednesday night when the incident happened near the rear entrance of Missoula nightclub.
Eyewitness reports suggest her death was caused by a barrier outside the club, which toppled over after a group of boys pushed into the queue, described by one witness as "complete chaos".
"In the end they put a barrier in front of the people at the front, who had been slowly moving forward due to being pushed from behind". She belonged to the Royal Yachting Association (RYA), and has been described by the RYA's Chris Atherton as "a popular and committed Junior Optimist squad sailor" with "drive, determination and good sportsmanship".
He said: "There was a fair bit of panic". Obviously the pushing continued regardless and suddenly the barrier fell and everyone fell on top of it. My friend was pulling people off her but there were too many.
He tried to give her CPR when she lost consciousness before paramedics arrived, it was alleged.
'Our thoughts and sympathies are with the family and friends of Olivia at this sad time'.
"There were about 600 people inside the club".
"The friends of the victim were making their way to the scene, one girl running to Missoula in hysterics and just screaming "no".
A spokesperson for Durham Police today said they have launched an investigation. "Your queue is a critical crowd safety point and needs to be designed, staffed and managed like any other part of the venue".
Durham's Pro-Vice-Chancellor Owen Adams reportedly sent an email to students saying: "I am very saddened to let you know that Durham Police are investigating the death of a Durham University student in Durham City last night".
Missoula reopened in September 2016 after a £385,000 investment.
"We continue to assist police and the company who provide our door staff to fully understand what led to this awful accident".
"You will appreciate that I am unable to share further details given the ongoing Police investigation".