On Sunday, 21 teenagers died in suspicious circumstances in a nightclub in South Africa, writes AP News.
The bodies of many of the victims – the youngest is a 13-year-old girl – were found by police early Sunday morning on the club’s dance floor, lying on tables, sitting in chairs and on sofas, and on the dance floor.
“They died while dancing,” said Police Minister Bheki Cele. “They danced, fell and died. Literally.”
“Others just got dizzy, fell asleep on the couch, (and) died. It also shows that they were all kids because someone should have been paying attention.”
There are speculations about the cause of the tragedy, from the amok run – which has now been ruled out – to a possible gas leak. Police sent forensic samples from the victims to a toxicology lab to see if the teens had taken any poison or drugs at the party.
Police said they were alerted to the pub around 4 a.m. on Sunday after they had been notified that there were “lifeless bodies” in the club. Two people died during transport to a hospital and one passed away in the hospital.They were between 13 and 17 years.
Colonel Athlenda Mathe, a police spokeswoman, said the investigation was ongoing and the cause of death had not yet been determined.
However, Cele said forensic samples are being sent to a toxicology laboratory in Cape Town, indicating police are investigating the possibility of poisoning or drugs. Cele said toxicological studies could “take a long time.”
Provincial security official Unathi Binqose told the Daily Maverick that the victims may have taken the toxic substance into their bodies with the alcohol they consumed or the hookahs they smoked at the party. According to the first reports, the victims – 12 boys and 9 girls – may have died due to the overcrowding of the party, but authorities found no visible injuries on the bodies.
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, who is in Germany at the G7 summit, said in a statement he expressed his condolences to the families of the victims, but also said he was concerned about “why such young people gathered in a place that seemed out of reach for them. ”
In South Africa, people under the age of 18 are not allowed to drink or buy alcohol, and the Cape Verde Spirits Council has announced it is revoking the club’s license and will prosecute the club.