South Africa: 21 young people died in an unusual way

South Africa is in shock following the unexplained death of 21 young people after a night out at a bar in a township in the city of East London.

“The corpses of 17 young people, who died in South Africa without apparent injuries, were discovered on the night of Sunday June 26, 2022 in an informal bar in a township in East London, South Africa, local police announced”. The cause of death appears to be unknown.

According to the sources in South Africa, “the victims were all students” who were celebrating the end of the school year on the night of Sunday June 26, 2022, were found without any signs of injury.

In this same bar 4 other young people lost their lives on their way to the hospital, as evidenced by the local authorities. A previous death toll of 21 in total.

“On the night of Sunday June 26, empty liquor bottles, wigs and even a pastel purple ‘happy birthday’ ribbon littered the dusty street outside the two-storey tavern in Enyobeni,” said Unathi. Binqose, a government security official who arrived at the scene at dawn.

Four other young people who were in this establishment then died in hospital, according to local authorities. The total death toll is 21.

A crowd of people, including parents whose children are missing, gathered outside the bar in a residential area as mortuary vehicles took away the victims.

Near the morgue, a couple who lost their 17-year-old son confess their distress.

Our son was there, he died there. This child, we didn’t think he was going to die this way, he was a humble, respectful child, says his mother, Ntombizonke Mgangala, next to her husband.

South Africa President Cyril Ramaphosa, who is in Germany to attend the G7 summit, offered his condolences to the bereaved families. He expressed concern about the circumstances in which these young people gathered in a place which, on the face of it, should not have been accessible to minors.

It’s incredible, it’s incomprehensible, to lose 20 young people in this way, said in shock the head of government of the Eastern Cape province, Oscar Mabuyane, who came in the morning to the scene of the tragedy, a simple building surrounded of individual houses.

Empty liquor bottles, wigs and even a pastel purple ribbon reading Happy Birthday littered the dusty street outside the two-story Enyobeni Tavern, according to Unathi Binqose, a government security official who is arrived on the scene at dawn.

We are continuing to investigate the circumstances of these deaths, said a spokesperson for the provincial police, General Thembinkosi Kinana, without venturing to speculate on the causes of their deaths.

A provincial health services official, Unathi Binqose, ruled out the possibility of a stampede or crowd movement.

The victims, he said, were likely students celebrating the end of exams and the school year.

According to local newspaper DispatchLive, the bodies are strewn across tables, on chairs and on the floor, with no apparent signs of injury.

On social networks, some mentioned the possibility of gas poisoning or collective poisoning. Unauthenticated footage showed bodies lying on the ground, with no signs of injury.

This incident prompted senior government officials to come to the scene, including the Minister of National Police Mr. Bheki Cele. The latter burst into tears leaving the morgue where the bodies were put. Among the hypotheses, that of collective intoxication.

Local television broadcast looped images of the crowds of families and onlookers gathered around this bar in East London, a city of one million people on the Indian Ocean, some 700 km south of Johannesburg.

Authorities are now considering overhauling liquor licensing regulations in a country that is among the continent’s biggest alcohol consumers.

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