21 young people found dead in South African nightclub

By Allen Cone
21 young people found dead in South African nightclub
South African Police Forces and forensics experts work at the scene where an 22 young people died in Enyobeni Tavern in East London, South Africa on Sunday morning. Photo by EPA-EFE

June 26 (UPI) -- Twenty-one young people were found dead Sunday morning in a nightclub in South Africa's East London with no cause announced, officials said.

The Daily Sun in South Africa reported the dead ranged in age from 13 to 20. Earlier reports put the death toll at 22. Four of them died at a hospital.


BBC reported the bodies were found early Sunday across floors and tables at the Enyobeni Tavern.

Siyakhangela Ndevu, the owner of the club, told local broadcaster eNCA: 'I am still uncertain about what really happened, but when I was called in the morning I was told the place was too full and that some people were trying to force their way into the tavern."

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Police Minister Bheki Cele said "from what we see here, it does not look like a stampede, hence we brought our forensic teamc from Pretoria to focus on what transpired at the tavern."

A poisonous gas has not been ruled out.

Health Department spokesman siyanda Manana said: "At this point we cannot confirm the cause of death."

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Oscar Mabuyane, premier of East Cape Province, condemned the "unlimited consumption of liquor."


"You can't just trade in the middle of society like this and think that young people are not going to experiment," he said.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa posted on Twitter his "deepest condolences" to families of the victims.

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He tweeted: "This tragedy is made even more grave by its occurrence during Youth Month - a time during which we celebrate young people, advocate and advance opportunities for improved socio-economic conditions for the youth of our nation.

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