17 killed in stampede after brawl at crowded Caracas club

17 killed in stampede after brawl at crowded Caracas club

At least 17 people, including eight minors, were killed Saturday after a partygoer detonated a tear-gas canister setting off a stampede inside a nightclub in Caracas, Venezuela, authorities said.

The tear gas was set off during a fight that occurred Saturday, leading to a stampede of more than 500 people rushing for exits, according to Interior and Justice Minister Nestor Reverol.

Reverol said seven people, including two minors, have been detained.

"The government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, led by President Nicolas Maduro, deplores this unfortunate event". Another five people were injured. It was not clear how the other six died.

The stampede took place at the Club Los Cotorros in the El Paraíso district in western Caracas, local media reported. "We send our condolences to the families", he said.

Local councillor, Jesus Armas, said the interior ministry should explain how a civilian was able to get hold of tear gas canisters which only security forces should have.

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Reverol said the owner had permitted weapons into the club that threatened the "integrity" of the establishment.

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

Caracas is one of the most violent capitals in the world and the country is engulfed in a deepening economic crisis that has forced hundreds of thousands to flee.

The homicide rate in Caracas alone was 104 per 100,000 people, the Venezuelan Observatory of Violence said.

"That's not a big space and that should not be authorised", he said.

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