At least 17 people, including eight minors, have been killed after the detonation of a tear gas device inside a crowded club in Venezuela‘s capital, Caracas, according to officials.
The incident on Saturday morning occurred after a middle school graduation party degenerated into a brawl and someone detonated the tear gas, according to Interior and Justice Minister Nestor Reverol.
The detonation set off a stampede, with more than 500 people rushing for the exits of the Los Cotorros club in the middle-class neighbourhood of El Paraiso.
Official reports said the victims died of suffocation or multiple trauma.
Eight of those killed were younger than 18, said Reverol. Five people were injured and taken to hospital for treatment.
Witnesses reportedly said a minor, one of seven people detained in the incident, is suspected of setting off the tear gas.
Reverol said the investigation was ongoing.
SOURCE: Al Jazeera and news agencies