At least 21 people died in a stampede after a tear-gas canister detonated in a nightclub in Caracas, Venezuela. The stampede involved more than 500 people and it occurred in the early morning hours of 16 June 2018 at the El Paraíso Social Club, in Caracas, Venezuela. The stampede resulted with a tear gas canister being detonated during a fight between a group of students from several different schools. According to a police report, the deaths were a result of polytrauma and asphyxia.
According to a survivor from the incident, at midnight a group of youngsters came out of the bathroom in a heated argument, punching and kicking each other. Some students had broken bottles in their hands and threatened other students with them. Students not involved in the fight tried to back away, and a student who was part of the group of brawlers ran to the staircase, and after throwing a gas canister, left the building. The tear gas made everyone panic as hundreds of students in the night club tried to ward themselves from the gas.
Because the club’s exit and entrance were small metal doors, it was hard for anyone to leave, and allegedly they were closed, according to families of the deceased victims.. Although some attendees called 9-1-1, no police arrived at the scene. NéstorReverol, the Interior Minister conveyed his condolences, saying, ‘the Government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela deplores this sad event and send condolences to the family members of the victims.’
Jesus Armas, an opposition councilman, asked the authorities to enquire whether the club had the necessary permissions to have hundreds of people, holding that ‘that’s not a big space and that should not be authorized.’