Police are trying to establish the causes of the deaths of at least 22 people who died from Saturday to Sunday at an informal nightclub in the South African city of East London. According to preliminary information, they were between 18 and 20 years old. However, according to the latest news reported by the police, there were also 13-year-olds in the club.
According to information from local newspapers, the youth are between 18 and 20 years old. And on Saturday evening, they took part in an event at the Enyobeni pub, organized to mark the end of the school year. On Sunday morning at the club, at least 22 bodies were found lying on tables and chairs with no signs of injuries.
– At this point, we cannot confirm any cause of death – Sianda Manana, a spokesman for the South African Ministry of Health said on Sunday – we intend to conduct an autopsy as soon as possible to determine the possible cause. He added that the dead were taken to government mortuaries.
Two people are in critical condition
Provincial government security chief Wiswe Tekana-Jxuthewi told local television that two people were in critical condition in hospital.
Oscar Maboyani, prime minister of the Eastern Cape province where the tragedy occurred, did not specify the cause of the youth’s death, but condemned the “unlimited consumption of alcohol”.
During the investigation, Minister Becky Seely, who is in charge of the South African Police, told reporters that he was at the scene and was not immediately able to determine the cause of so many deaths. “Some of the victims are 13 years old,” he said. The minister added that samples taken from the deceased will be taken to toxicology laboratories in Cape Town for more advanced analysis.
“I’m still not sure what happened”
Siyakhangela Ndevu club owner spoke to South African station ENCA. He stated that he was called to the scene early Sunday morning.
“I’m still not sure what really happened.” When I was called in the morning, I was told the place was crowded and some people were trying to break into the pub – he said. “But let’s wait for what the police say about the cause of their death,” Ndevo added.
A 17-year-old girl, who introduced herself as Lully and lives near the pub, told Reuters reporters that it was a popular spot for a teenager, but locals wanted it closed after the tragedy. – They want to close it because they sell alcohol to minors. Everyone is angry, sad about what happened – she admitted.
Earlier, the South African President expressed his condolences to the families of the victims Cyril Ramaphosa. In a statement, he said he was concerned about the conditions in which “young people, who may be under the age of 18, may congregate in the pub.” He added that he was awaiting the results of the police investigation.
PAP, Reuters, BBC, CNN, Sky News
Main image source: PAP / EPA / STR
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