The informal liquor store, where 21 young people died in mysterious circumstances over the weekend in South Africa, was searched by police on Monday as survivors described the “bodies lying on the ground” and the “suspicious smell”.
Read more: Mysterious discovery of 21 bodies in a bar
At dawn on Sunday, the bodies of 17 young people, some of them 13 years old, were found in a “shepherd” (township bar, poor suburb) in south-east London. Four people later died at the hospital. Thirteen boys, eight girls, no apparent injuries.
The survivor, 19-year-old Sinovio Monyen, told the AFP about the lack of air: “I fainted. I had shortness of breath, had a strong odor, some sort of spray. We thought of spraying pepper ”.
That evening the young woman who was working for a brand of liquor was contacted on the phone and regained consciousness when water came on her face. “The bodies were lying around. Some sprayed water, but they did not move.
According to DJ Luhlemela Ulana, the situation in the crowded room of the two-story building has become “uncontrollable.” He recalled trying in vain to calm down the cheerleaders by stopping the music.
“We tried to close the door, but people kept pushing. The bouncers could not cope with the crowd,” he explains.
Alcohol intoxication, poisoning, many traces are triggered at the moment of the origin of death. Authorities said an autopsy was underway.
A total of 31 people have been admitted to the hospital. Vomiting, headache, some reported back and chest pain. Two others have been hospitalized.
The samples were taken and flown today to Cape Town, 800 km west of east London, where tests, including toxicology, are being carried out, said Unadi Pincos, a government spokesman in charge of security questions.
A team of special investigators was dispatched from Pretoria. So far the police have not arrested anyone. According to officials, most of the victims are students celebrating their semester final exam results.
On Sunday, parents and relatives of the missing youth gathered in front of the bar, while mortuary cars carried the bodies to the morgue.
The police minister, with tears in his eyes, described the “horrific” images after seeing the bodies. President Cyril Ramaphosa regretted that teenagers were allowed “in a place, a place where people under the age of 18 should be barred.”
In South Africa, alcohol is prohibited for those under 18 years of age. But the law is not always applied, especially in informal bars.
Illegal drinking companies under the “Shepheans” racism. They are now recognized or tolerated in townships, former black ghettos.
Sadien Moussa Faki Mohammed, head of the African Union Commission, tweeted his sorrow and addressed his prayers “at this time of unspeakable sorrow and pain.”