Cause of death of 20 people in nightclub unknown

Reports say the bodies of the youngsters had no visible signs of injury.

South Africa Nightclub Deaths
South Africa Nightclub Deaths

Police in South Africa are investigating the deaths of at least 20 people at a nightclub.

It is unclear what led to the deaths of the young people, who were reportedly attending a party in the coastal town of East London to celebrate the end of winter school exams.

Local newspaper Daily Dispatch reported that bodies were strewn across tables and chairs without any visible signs of injury.

Health department spokesman Siyanda Manana said: “At this point we cannot confirm the cause of death.

South Africa Nightclub Deaths
People stand behind a police cordon outside a nightclub in East London (AP)

“We are going to conduct autopsies as soon as possible to establish the probable cause of death. The deceased have been taken to state mortuaries.”

The owner of the club, Siyakhangela Ndevu, told local broadcaster eNCA that he had been called to the scene early on Sunday.

He said: “I am still uncertain about what really happened, but when I was called in the morning I was told the place was too full and that some people were trying to force their way into the tavern.

“However, we will hear what the police say about the cause of death.”

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