Guessing the Cause – 22 Teens Dead in Bar, South Africa – News

  • The bodies of 17 youths have been found in a bar in the township of East London on the South African coast.
  • Five other young people later died in hospital.
  • Local police said they had no obvious injuries.
  • The victims are between 17 and 20 years old – the circumstances of their death are still unclear.

The head of the provincial health service, Unathi Binqose, ruled out the possibility of a crush: “It’s hard to believe it was a stampede as none of the victims have visible open wounds,” he told AFP by phone .

The bodies will be taken to state morgues, where relatives are expected to help identify the male and female victims, said Siyanda Manana, a spokesman for the Eastern Cape provincial health department.

“We will start the autopsy immediately so we can determine the probable cause of death,” he told Reuters as coroners continued to work at the cordoned-off crime scene at the Enyobeni Tavern.

A crowd, including parents whose children are believed to be missing, gathered outside the bar in a residential area while hearses took the victims away. The victims are said to have been students.

President Cyril Ramaphosa, who was in Germany to attend the G7 summit, offered his condolences to the grieving families. He expressed concern about “the circumstances in which these youths have gathered in a place that, at first sight, should not have been accessible to minors”. The cause of the accident is still under investigation.