At least 20 young people found dead in South African nightclub

26 June 2022, 08:51 | Updated: 27 June 2022, 00:19

The incident happened in the town of East London in Eastern Cape
The incident happened in the town of East London in Eastern Cape. Picture: Alamy/Google Maps

By Daisy Stephens

At least 22 young people have been found dead at a nightclub in South Africa, police have said.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

The bodies were found early on Sunday morning in Enyobeni Tavern, a popular tavern in the suburb of Scenery Park in Eastern Cape.

The victims, mostly aged between 18 and 20, were reportedly attending a party in the coastal town of East London to celebrate the end of winter school exams.

The cause of death is not yet known, police said, but witnesses have said the bodies have 'no obvious sign of injury' and looked as if they had collapsed where they stood.

Read more: Boris Johnson confident of winning next election and 'actively thinking' about third term

Read more: Boris ducks questions over '£150,000 bulletproof treehouse he wanted for son Wilf'

There has been some speculation the death toll could actually be as high as 22, but this has yet to be confirmed.

Four people have also been taken to hospital, SABC reports.

There are suggestions the tragedy could be the result of a poisonous substance such as a gas leak, but police have said they will not speculate on the cause of death.

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

"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 location of the incident
The location of the incident. Picture: Alamy

South African news outlet Dispatch Live has a reporter there.

They described the scene as "horrific", with the bodies strewn over the floor, chairs and tables.

They said families were gathered outside calling the names of their loved ones, but were not allowed in.

They added photos from the tavern were not fit for publication.

Read more: Cops confiscated Porngate MP's guns so he wouldn't kill himself as Tories 'let him drown'

Read more: 'Boris Johnson is Boris Johnson': Minister defends PM after pledge not to change

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."

Zulu-language newspaper the Isolezwe News says eyewitnesses told them "bodies were everywhere" with no signs of injury.

Eastern Cape police spokesperson Brigadier Tembinkosi Kinana said police were alerted by members of the public to the incident.

Police told Reuters the circumstances of the deaths are "under investigation", and that it is too early to establish the cause of death.

The spokesperson added most of the individuals were between the ages of 18 and 20.

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

Police have released CCTV of a man they want to speak to.

Manhunt launched after girl, 7, 'abducted and taken into woods'

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are believed to be 'trying to create an alternative woke royal family'

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are 'trying to create an alternative woke royal family', royal biographer claims

Flash flooding has hit London

Thunderstorms cause travel chaos as two major London train stations are hit by flash flooding

Exclusive
Nationalising energy firms will leave Brits 'paying off' shareholders, says Starmer

Nationalising energy firms will leave Brits 'paying off' shareholders, says Starmer

Exclusive
Keir Starmer has backed workers struggling due to the cost of living crisis

Keir Starmer insists he is 'absolutely' behind workers as more strikes loom amid cost of living crisis

Cristiano Ronaldo has been cautioned by police

Cristiano Ronaldo cautioned by police after smashing phone out of autistic boy's hand

Mr Giggs denies assaulting his ex-girlfriend Kate Greville

'The worst experience of my life': Ryan Giggs weeps in court as he recalls spending night in cells

A man was killed in Poland Street on Monday

Man, 60, charged with murder after fatal stabbing near Oxford Street

Police and forensics officers at the scene of the shooting in Toxteth

Man dies after Liverpool shooting as police hunt suspects on e-bikes

Sewage discharge alerts have been issued for many of the UK's beaches

Sewage alerts issued for almost 50 beaches in England and Wales

Mr Chail is accused under the Treason Act

'I'm here to kill the Queen', crossbow-armed man accused of treason told guards at Windsor Castle, court hears

Firefighters tackle the blaze in Southwark this morning

Firefighters tackle huge blaze in Southwark railway arches with train services 'severely disrupted'

Flooding has broken out in London

Flash floods break out in London amid amber warning of flooding, power cuts and lightning strikes

Matt Forde complained about a baby at his show

Comedian sparks row after complaining about crying baby 'derailing' Edinburgh Fringe show

Thomas O’Halloran, 87, has been named as the victim in the stabbing in Greenford in west London. Police issued CCTV of a suspect today

Hunt for suspect seen 'fleeing with knife' after grandfather, 87, stabbed to death riding mobility scooter

Natasha Henstridge has paid tribute to her ex-husband

'No words... only love': Darius Danesh's ex-wife shares tribute after his shock death at 41