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20 people found dead at South African nightclub

20 young people have lost their lives at a makeshift nightclub in a township in the southern city of East London, South Africa, a top safety official said on Sunday.

Head of the provincial government safety department Weziwe Tikana-Gxothiwe said, ‘The number has increased to 20, three have died in hospital. But there are still two who are very critical’.

The authorities had earlier reported 17 fatalities in the club. ‘We got a report about 17 (people) that died in a local tavern in Scenery Park which is based in East London’, a provincial police spokesman brigadier Thembinkosi Kinana stated, adding, ‘We are still investigating the circumstances surrounding the incident’.

He stated that the victims ranged in age from 18 to 20. Unathi Binqose, a representative of the Eastern Cape provincial community and safety department, 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.

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Unverified images posted on social media showed victims scattered around the club’s floor with no obvious indications of injuries.

Police officers were seen on local television attempting to calm down a group of parents and observers who had gathered outside the club in the city, which is located on the Indian Ocean coast about 620 miles (almost 1,000 kilometres) south of Johannesburg.


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