Cape Town — South African authorities are investigating the deaths of at least 22 young people found in a popular tavern in a coastal town in East London, state health officials and the president said on Sunday.
The state-run SABC reported that it died from a possible stampede, but details were inadequate as the exact cause of death remained unknown.
Siyanda Manana, a spokesman for the Eastern Cape Health Department, said the bodies were transferred to the state’s morgue, where relatives are expected to help identify both male and female victims. Stated.
“We can immediately undertake an autopsy and find out the possible cause of death,” he told Reuters.
“We are talking about 22 bodies now,” Manana said, adding that the toxicology test was part of the test.
President Cyril Ramaphosa expressed his condolences to the affected families and said he was worried about the situation in which young people, who may be under the age of 18, were allowed to gather in taverns. Ramaphosa said in his statement that the law must follow that path once the investigation is complete.
“We are calling on our parents to make sure their children are in good health. We are calling on the community to say that they should not be killed,” said National Police Minister Bheki Cele. He told a large crowd at Scenery Park. Live on TV during his instant visit.
A 17-year-old girl who lived near a tavern, named only “Rory,” told Reuters that the venue was a popular hangout for teens, but the community closed it after the tragedy. I was hoping for.
“Everyone wants to shut it down because they sell alcohol to underage children. Everyone is angry and everyone is sad about what happened,” she says. rice field.
Former Brigadier General Tembinkosi Kinana said police were warned by the general public about the incident at Scenery Park, about 3 km (1.9 miles) from the city center.
“What happened can be the equivalent of a slaughter,” East London Mayor Xola Pakati said in a statement.