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21 dead South African teens may have been poisoned

21 dead South African teens may have been poisoned
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South African authorities are investigating whether 21 teenagers killed in mysterious circumstances at a nightclub over the weekend may have been accidentally poisoned by something they ate, drank or smoked.

Those who survived the ordeal at the popular tavern in the east London neighborhood early Sunday recalled a strong, suffocating smell in the building before the teenagers began to die.

the bodies of many of the victimsthe youngest, a 13-year-old girl, were discovered by police lying on tables, slumped on chairs and sofas, and lying on the club’s dance floor.

Authorities have already dismissed initial reports that a stampede killed the youths.

They have since sent forensic samples from the victims to a toxicology lab to investigate whether the teens ingested poison or a toxin at the party.

Authorities remove bodies from nightclub
The bodies of the 21 victims, the youngest a 13-year-old girl, were discovered by police inside the nightclub early Sunday morning.
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Authorities remove one of the bodies from a nightclub in East London, South Africa.
Authorities are investigating whether the teens may have been accidentally poisoned by something they ate, drank or smoked.
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“Is it something they ingested that will indicate poisoning, be it food or drink, or is it something they inhaled,” an Eastern Cape police spokesman said.

He added that hookah pipes were visible on surveillance footage of the scene.

“They died while dancing,” Police Minister Bheki Cele said Monday of the still-unexplained deaths. “They dance, they fall and they die. Literally.

“Others would just get seasick, sleep on the couch and die. He tells you the story that they were all boys because someone should have taken notice.”

A body is removed from the club
Police said many of the victims were found slumped on chairs and sofas, and sprawled on the club’s dance floor.
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Mourners attend a service at the Assembly of God Church in Scenery Park in east London, South Africa, on Monday, June 27, 2022 after 21 teenagers were found dead.
Mourners attend a service at the Assembly of God Church in Scenery Park in east London, South Africa, on Monday, June 27, 2022 after 21 teenagers were found dead.
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The police chief said the teens died between 2 a.m. and 4:30 a.m.

“The sight of those bodies sleeping there… when you look at their faces you realize you’re dealing with children, children, children,” Cele said. “You’ve heard the story that they’re young, but when you see them you realize it’s a mess. Twenty one of them. Too many.”

Some of the teenagers were reportedly celebrating the end of mid-year exams, the birthday of a local DJ and the relaxation of some of South Africa’s latest COVID-19 restrictions, authorities said.

with post wires

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