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"It's a terrible scene": At least 21 teens die in a tavern mystery

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This weekend after at least 21 teens, perhaps the youngest, 13 spent the night in a tavern in the town ofSouth Africain an unexplained tragedy. Died in. According to state officials, many are believed to have been students celebrating the end of their high school exams on Saturday night.

There were no visible scars on the body. Authorities ruled out stampede as a possible cause and said autopsy would determine if death could be associated with poisoning.

A crowd of people, including parents whose children went missing on Sunday, gathered outside a tragic tavern in the city of East London while a morgue vehicle was collecting bodies. Said AFP correspondent.

High-ranking government officials rushed to a city in the south. They included police minister Bheki Cele, who shed tears and collapsed after coming out of the morgue where the bodies were stored.

"It's a terrible scene," he told reporters. "They are pretty young. When you are told they are 13 or 14, you go there and you see them. It breaks (you)."

A family member reacts next to a police officer as forensic personnel investigate the deaths of patrons found inside the Enyobeni Tavern, in East London, South Africa, June 26, 2022.
A family reacts next to a police officer while a forensic officer is investigating the death of a patron found at the Anyobeni tavern in East London, South Africa. June 26, 2022.Reuters / Stringer

The Eastern Cape Province government said eight girls and thirteen boys had died. It was found that 17 people were dead in the tavern. The rest died in the hospital.

People over the age of 18 are allowed to drink at a tavern in a town commonly called Shebeen. This tavern is often near the cheeks, with or in some cases inside the family home.

However, safety regulations and the drinking age law are not always in force.

"There was a child who died on the scene," said the parents of a 17-year-old boy.

"This child, we didn't expect to die like this. This was a humble child. In honor," said her husband's outside the morgue. Said Ntombizonke Mgangala, a sad mother standing next door.

A 17-year-old girl who revealed her identity as Rory to Reuters, she said, taverns are popular among teens.

Condolences to President Cyril Ramaphosa at theG7 Summitin Germany.

He expressed concern about the reported situation in which such young people gathered in places that seemingly should be off limits to persons under the age of 18.

Authorities are currently considering whether to revise the liquor license rules.

"That's absolutely unbelievable ;. Just like that, you lose 20 young lives," said state Prime Minister Oscar Mabuyane, visibly shocked. ..

He was talking to reporters before the toll was updated to at least 21.

He accused "unlimited consumption of alcohol".

"You can't think that youths aren't going to experiment in this way trading in the middle of society," he said outside the tavern in a residential area called Scenery Park.

Empty bottles of alcohol, wigs, and even pastel purple "Happy Birthday" sashes were found scattered on the dusty streets outside the two-story Enyobeni tavern. The scene of dawn.

Excluding stampede as the cause of death, Binqose told AFP that "there are no visible open wounds."

"Forensics (investigators) take samples and test for any addiction," he said, adding that the bar is crowded.

The local newspaperDispatchLivereports on its website:

Parents and officials said they understand that many of the dead are students celebrating the "Pendown" party held after the high school exam.

Local television showed police officers trying to calm a crowd of parents and spectators gathered outside a club in the city on the Indian Ocean coast, about 620 miles south of Johannesburg. ..

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