This past Sunday, twenty-two teenagers were found dead in a South African tavern. Their cause of death is still unknown.
The tragedy took place in Scenery Park, East London, when, at about four o’clock in the morning, Scenery Park police officers received a report of “lifeless bodies” at a local tavern.
After officials arrived, seventeen teenagers were declared dead on the scene.
Additionally, “it was later established two more died at a local clinic, one died en route to the hospital, and another died in the hospital,” according to a South African Police Service (SAPS) press release. Of the teenagers, nine were female, and twelve were male.
General Bheki Cele, the Minister of Police, and General Fannie Masemola, the National Commissioner of the SAPS, have since launched an extensive investigation employing crime scene experts and bomb disposal technicians.
Minister Cele has also worked with community residents and parents to identify the teenage victims.
Until the SAPS uncovers more information, Minister Cele has also urged the community and affected families to trust the investigation.
“We have an experienced team that is complimenting the provincial team to ensure we get to the bottom of what has led to the death of these young people.
We are also engaging other stakeholders to investigate issues of compliance pertaining to liquor legislation,” the Minister said in a statement.