The explosion of a can of tear gas in a nightclub in Caracas was the cause of the tragedy
In the early hours of Saturday morning, during a celebration of the end of the school year at Club Los Cotorros nightclub in the west of the city of Caracas, Venezuela, a stampede killed 17 people.
Leer en español: Venezuela: Una estampida en Caracas deja 17 jóvenes muertos
The stampede broke out when a container of tear gas was detonated inside the establishment.
"A fight broke out in the early hours of the morning and one of the people involved in the brawl launched a tear gas that caused the stampede of more than 500 people who were in the social club (...), causing the death of 17 people and five injured", declared Minister of Interior, Justice, and Peace of Venezuela, Nestor Reverol.
According to journalist Darvinson Rojas, who reported the incident to the web portal La Patilla, most of those killed in the incident were between 16 and 20 years old. Some died asphyxiated, but others died from injuries received during the stampede that followed the explosion.
The investigation and prosecution of those responsible is already ongoing. "So far there are seven people arrested, including two minors," announced Reverol.
In addition, the administration of the establishment is also involved, since the law specifies that precautions must be taken to prevent the entry of any type of weapon or explosive into the premises.
"The person in charge of the establishment is also being detained, since the law for disarmament establishes very clearly the measures that must be carried out to prevent the entry of arms and ammunition into the controlled access areas," Reverol confirmed.
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There is still very little clarity about the identity of the victims, but it is known that at least 11 of the corpses were taken to the Pérez Carreño Hospital, in western Caracas.
For the relatives of the victims it has been difficult to receive certainty about the condition of their relatives. Nilson Guerra, father of one of the deceased denounces that "Here there is no response from anything, neither from the police nor from the doctors" and that all he knows is that his son is dead, because he himself saw him in the morgue of the hospital.
Latin American Post | Pedro Bernal
Translated from "Venezuela: Una estampida en Caracas deja 17 jóvenes muertos"