At least 20 teenagers in a South African tavern die in South African Tavern.
2 hours ago — At least 21 teenagers in a South African tavern die in mysterious circumstances. Delmary delmar 12 seconds ago.

Updated  on June 26, 2022 at 07:14  Published on June 26, 2022 at 5:30 p.m.

JOHANNESBURG - At least 20 people, some of whom are teenagers, were found dead early Sunday morning in a tavern in the coastal city of East London, South Africa, police announced.

Although investigators are still trying to determine what led to the deaths, initial reports suggest that the club was overcrowded and that there had been a scramble, said Unathi Binqose, spokesman for the Department of Community Safety of Eastern Cape Province.

Television reports showed local residents gathered on a dirt road outside the modest building housing the bar, Enyobeni Tavern, many of whom were looking for information about their loved ones. Senior officials from across the province, including the Premier and the Police Commissioner, were on site in Scenery Park, northwest of downtown East London.

"We really can't understand what happened here," Prime Minister Oscar Mabuyane told reporters. "It's simply not possible. It shouldn't happen like that.

Brick. Tembinkosi Kinana, a police spokesman, said the police received a call around 4 a.m. reporting deaths in the tavern.

Mr. Binqose said the tavern organized a big party on Saturday night, featuring two DJs celebrating their birthdays. The party was also presented as a celebration of South Africa's abandonment of its mask mandate for public places, which had been in force since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, said Mr. Binqose.

"This attracted a large number of people - more than the tavern can accommodate," he said about the party.

The owners of the tavern told investigators that bouncers had closed the doors to try to control the size of the crowd, said Mr. Binqose. People outside would have tried to make their way inside, triggering a panic, which could have been exacerbated by someone who released pepper spray, he said.

But Mr. Binqose added that these accounts had not yet been confirmed by the police. "There are many stories circulating," he said.

He said that the police seized surveillance images taken at the bar.

Brigadier Kinana said that the victims were probably about 18 to 20 years old. By the end of the morning, the police had confirmed 20 deaths, but some feared that the toll would increase.  
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