Several hundred young Venezuelans were gathered together inside of a small nightclub for a graduation party on Friday night when something went horribly wrong.
A brawl reportedly broke out at the party, and someone set off a canister of tear gas inside the club. This caused a stampede of people rushing to the exits, and that stampede left at least 17 individuals dead, including 8 minors.
Party gone wrong
An estimated 500 students were crammed inside the Caracas nightclub for a “pre-graduation” celebration that carried on into the early hours of Saturday morning.
Venezuelan Interior and Justice Minister Nestor Reverol explained on the communist nation’s state-run broadcast news station that a fight had broken out among some of the students, during which “one of the people involved detonated a tear gas canister that caused the stampede.”
Reverol reported that at least seven individuals had been detained for their role in the brawl and resultant stampede, including two minors, one of whom was responsible for setting off the tear-gas canister, according to eyewitnesses.
Tragically, 11 of the 17 deaths were the result of asphyxiation, meaning they were smothered and suffocated to death by the crush of the massive crowd.
At least five others sustained injuries during the stampede, two of whom were minors.
There is an ongoing investigation into the incident.
In the meantime, the nightclub has been shut down.
Additionally, the owner of the club was arrested by police due to his failure to follow the law and ensure that no weapons or ammunition were brought into the premises.
The socialist government stated officially that it “deplores this unfortunate event” and offered up “words of condolences to the families of the victims.”
Those words of condolences in the wake of this “unfortunate event” ring rather hollow though, given the mixture of brutality and neglect with which average Venezuelans are typically treated by their betters in the socialist government on a near-daily basis.