Police say at least 17 people were trampled to death during a graduation party at a nightclub in the Venezuelan capital of Caracas Saturday. Venezuela's interior minister Néstor Reverol appeared on state television to say the deaths occurred in the early morning when a fight broke at El Paraiso nightclub. At some point during the fight, someone set off a tear-gas canister prompting the crowd to stampede through the entrance which has now been closed.
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<span style="margin-top:15px;rgba(42,51,6,0.7);font-size:12px;">Venezuelan Government</span>
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"This caused a stampede of more than 500 people who were in the club," Reverol said. He also noted that eight of the dead were minors. The graduation party was attended by many victims who were also graduating soon. Police arrested seven suspects in connection with the incident as well as the clubs owner for not checking patrons for weapons, which is a crime.
The tragic deaths come amid growing tragedy in the country where the economy recently collapsed and became overrun with criminals. Just four years ago, the Venezuelan government banned guns and by 2017 the country had fallen apart. There is no food, medicine, and criminal gangs run everything. The crime is so out of control that after nightfall the streets are empty due to fear of kidnapping by criminals.
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The capital city of Caracas has had a long history of tragedies at nightclubs. In 2002, 50 people were killed in a stampede after a fire broke out at a club called La Guajira. Police later concluded the nightclub was in the basement of a hotel which did not have emergency exits.
Crime has become such a big problem since the government banned citizens from owning firearms that businesses have begun blocking emergency exits or not building them at all due to customers leaving without paying. For a glimpse of the country's brutal state, check out the video below.
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