At least 17 people are reported to have been found dead at a nightclub in South Africa.
Emergency services were called in the early hours of Sunday June 26, to the Enyobeni Tavern in Scenery Park, on the edge of East London, Eastern Cape province, according to the Daily Dispatch news site.
Police spokesman, Brigadier Tembinkosi Kinana told the Newzroom Africa television channel;
“We got a report about 17 [people] that died in a local tavern in Scenery Park which is based in East London.
“The circumstances surrounding the incident are under investigation as we speak.
“We do not want to make any speculations at this stage.”
Kinana also revealed that the victims were aged between 18 and 20 years. The Eastern Cape provincial community and safety department official Unathi Binqose, speaking from the scene, ruled out a stampede as a cause of the deaths.
Local newspaper, DispatchLive, reported “bodies are lying strewn across tables, chairs and on the floor; with no obvious signs of injury”.
Unverified pictures shared on social media showed bodies with no visible signs of injuries, strewn on the floor of the club.
Local television showed police officers trying to calm down a crowd of parents and onlookers gathered outside the club in the city, which lies on the Indian Ocean coast, nearly 620 miles (1,000) south of Johannesburg.
Siyanda Manana, a spokesperson for the Eastern Cape provincial health department, told Reuters:
“We are going to immediately be embarking on autopsies so we can know the probable cause of death. We are talking 22 bodies right now.”