There were thousands of people trying to get into the old Royal Mail sorting office building for the illegal rave on Saturday night, but only a few hundred could actually fit inside.

Police were soon surrounding the giant mass of people in Croydon, a town in South London, shortly after 11pm. But the crowd was too chaotic for them to keep it in check. One 16-year-old, known as Josh, was one of the several attendees who were injured in some way: part of his pinky was ripped off during the rave.

 

In an interview with VICE, Josh and his friend, Fraser, explained exactly what happened during the rave. They were caught in the midst of a crowd of more than 1,000 people trying to force their way into the building, drinking, smoking weed, and throwing missiles at police. Josh and Fraser made their way to the side of the building in order to get in. It was inside that the fire alarm went off, and Josh — claiming he was sober at the time — decided to rip the alarm off the wall, spurred by people shouting “Rip it off! Rip it off” His pinky was caught in the broken case and was torn off as he jumped down.

Josh explained to VICE:

“I looked at my hand and my little finger was gone — the bone was sticking out. It’s the weirdest feeling; one second you’re fine and your little finger is there, and the next second it’s gone. It shoves reality up your backside. I was in so much pain and shock that the first thing that hit my head was the beat and the bass. The bass was hard, so I just ripped off my top, wrapped it around my finger and tied it up as tight as I could and skanked it out for half an hour. My mentality was, 'I’ve only been here for an hour, I’ve paid £10 for this night, I’ve lost my little finger — am I seriously going to go? Nah, I’m going to skank until I can’t skank any more.' After that, my mate dragged me down to the paramedics.”

However, Josh’s injury wasn’t the only — or the worst — to occur at the rave that night. One 15-year-old died after collapsing at the rave, reportedly due to drugs. Four people were taken to the hospital in total, and nine were arrested.

When asked if he was going to avoid raves from now on, Josh responded: “No. The next rave is in July — you’ll see me there. Raving isn’t a dangerous thing. Obviously accidents do happen, but there are people around you 24/7 who are willing to help. It’s a calm environment; everyone’s just there to enjoy themselves.”