17 killed in stampede after brawl at crowded Caracas club

At least 17 people have died inside a club in Caracas Venezuela

At least 17 people have died inside a club in Caracas Venezuela

At least seventeen people died at a Caracas club early on Saturday morning when a person activated a tear gas grenade inside, Venezuela's interior minister Nestor Reverol said.

The minister told state television that about 500 people rushed to the exit when the tear gas grenade was set off. Efe reports that five people were also injured and that one is now in critical condition.

The interior ministry ordered the nightclub to be shut down and is coordinating with the public ministry to carry out the necessary investigations.

Mr Reverol didn't say what started the brawl or how a civilian got a tear gas canister, used by police and military to break up frequent protests in the country, into the club.

Numerous victims are said to have suffocated.

Reverol said that Venezuela's government "deplores this unfortunate event" and offered "words of condolences to the families of the victims".

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Media reported quoting the Minister, "The stampede was triggered when a tear-gas canister was set off during a brawl".

"We haven't received a response from anybody, neither from the police nor the doctors", Nilson Guerra, the father of one victim, said at the hospital.

He only knew his 19-year-old son Luis had died because he had seen him in the morgue. Another son of his had been hospitalised.

Photo taken on June 16, 2018 shows the exterior of the nightclub "El Paraiso" where a stampede happened in Caracas, Venezuela, on June 16, 2018.

Venezuelan authorities have confirmed that at least 17 people lost their lives during an stampede at a nightclub in Caracas.

Authorities said non-governmental groups inflate figures to create paranoia and tarnish President Nicolás Maduro's socialist government.

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