Tear gas explosion at Venezuela club kills 17 people: Minister

Tear gas explosion at Venezuela club kills 17 people: Minister

Tear gas explosion at Venezuela club kills 17 people: Minister

At least 17 people were killed in a stampede at a nightclub in capital Caracas on Saturday morning after the explosion of a tear gas bomb, Venezuela's interior minister Nestor Luis Reverol said.

Some 500 students were packed into the club for a "pre-graduation" party, according to Venezuelan Interior and Justice Minister Nestor Reverol.

A further five people were injured and are being treated by medics, Mr Reverol said.

Outside the club, several mismatched shoes, including a sandal with a puckered red lip decoration, lay on the sidewalk.

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Noris Villanueva, an autopsy assistant at the local Perez Carreno Hospital, said eight people suffocated to death from the gas.

"The establishment has been ordered closed, and we are investigating in coordination with the public ministry, which is directing the criminal investigation", Reverol said.

"All I know is my son is dead", Nilson Guerra, a 43, told local journalists.

A relative of one of the victims of the night club where a tear gas grenade was detonated waits outside the morgue in Caracas.

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Authorities have arrested seven people and the investigation is ongoing.

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

Family members who gathered outside the hospital where many victims were taken wept and embraced one another as they tried to find out what had happened.

Among those detained are two minors identified by witnesses along with the owner of the club for failing to implement measures to prevent weapons being brought into the premises.

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"The kids couldn't leave", Perdomo said.

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