Caracas Nightclub Stampede Leaves 17 Dead

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Seventeen people, including eight minors, were killed at a crowded Caracas club early today when a tear gas canister was detonated, setting off a stampede, Venezuelan officials said. The device went off around 3 a.m. during the fight and caused a stampede of people running to the exit, the Interior Minister said on state TV, according to Reuters UK. Another five people were injured.

Tear gas device detonated as middle school graduation party descends into a brawl and sets off a stampede. Seven people have been detained, including the individual believed to have set off the tear gas canister. Another one of his sons had been hospitalised. Authorities have also arrested the owner of the nightclub for not having measures to stop these kinds of weapons from being brought inside the building. The opposition councilman said that other incidents had happened there in the past.

The interior ministry ordered the nightclub to be shut down and is coordinating with the public ministry to carry out the necessary investigations.

"The kids couldn't leave", he said. No information on the owner's name, exact charges or current whereabouts was immediately provided.

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Homicide rates in Venezuela have risen due to the country's political and economic troubles.

Meanwhile, Haide Berrio, whose 17-year-old nephew was killed, said she had gone to try and find him after hearing about the commotion at the club and knowing that he was attending the party.

Many victim relatives echoed her call for accountability.

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