Investigations into an incident involving at about 22 youths who died over the weekend following a night out at a township nightclub in South Africa has commenced, Authorities say.
Local officials and politicians speculated that underage drinking gone terribly wrong may have been the cause of the deaths, although the exact cause is yet unknown.
According to the Eastern Cape provincial authorities, at the Enyobeni Tavern in the seaside town of East London, eight girls and thirteen boys perished in the nightclub.
The other victims passed away in hospitals, leaving seventeen bodies at the site. The victims were discovered scattered across tables and floors.
According to investigators, many of the victims are believed to have been teenagers who were celebrating the conclusion of their high school exams on Saturday night.
While at the G7 conference in Germany, President Cyril Ramaphosa expressed his sincere condolences.
“This tragedy is made even more grave by its occurrence during Youth Month – a time during which we… advocate and advance opportunities for improved socio-economic conditions for the youth of our nation,” he said in a tweet.
Oscar Mabuyane, prime minister of East Cape Province where the tragedy occurred, did not give an explanation for the deaths, but 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 outside the tavern.
The tavern’s owner, Siyakhangela Ndevu, said there had been a rush to enter the bar by revellers despite warnings it was full. But safety official Unathi Binquose ruled out a stampede as the cause of death.
It is important to note that in South Africa, people under the age of 18 are not allowed to consume alcohol.
However, safety standards and drinking-age requirements are not consistently upheld in township bars, which are frequently located next to family homes.
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