A total of 22 people have been found dead under mysterious circumstances in a popular nightclub in East London, South Africa.
“The circumstances under which they died are under investigation,” Kinana said, adding it was too early to determine the cause of death of the young adults aged between 18 and 20 years.
The bodies have been transported to state mortuaries where relatives are expected to help identify the victims, said Siyanda Manana, a spokesperson for the Eastern Cape provincial health department.
“We are going to immediately be embarking on autopsies so we can know the probable cause of death,” he said. “We are talking 22 bodies right now.”
Unathi Binqose, an Eastern Cape community and safety department official, speaking from the scene, ruled out a stampede as the cause of death.
“It’s difficult to believe it’s a stampede as there are no visible open wounds to those dead,” Binqose said.
“Parents whose children did not sleep home are gathered here and they want to enter the tavern to look for their loved ones.”
He said he understood the patrons were students “celebrating pens down, a party held after writing [high school] exams”.
A regional local newspaper, DispatchLive, reported that “bodies are lying strewn across tables, chairs and on the floor; with no obvious signs of injury”.