After the mysterious deaths of 22 teenagers, South African authorities are consulting with a toxicology lab in a search for answers.
The 22 deceased individuals were found inside a nightclub early Sunday morning — all were minors — ranging in age from 13-17 years old.
As of late Sunday, six victims had still not been identified.
Early reports note that at least 9 girls and 12 boys were found dead by police who entered the nightclub at approximately 4 a.m. on Sunday. At least four other minors died at or on the way to the hospital.
According to local authorities, Police Minister Bheki Cele ruled out the theory that the deaths were caused by a stampede, telling reporters outside the nightclub on Sunday that the victims showed no outward signs of injury.
Cele condemned the owners of the East London nightclub for allowing minors into the venue and as reported, serving them alcohol.
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa also noted that the club should have been “off-limits” to the minors.
Fox News also notes that as Ramaphosa spoke of the tragedy, he noted that June is “Youth Month,” saying, “This tragedy is made even more grave by its occurrence during Youth Month — a time during which we celebrate young people, advocate and advance opportunities for improved socio-economic conditions for the youth of our nation.”
The results of the toxicology analysis are forthcoming.
Unverified reports note that the teens were thought to have been celebrating end-of-school-year exams.
A local news report suggested the owner of the nightclub, who has yet to be named, may soon face charges for serving alcohol to minors.
The owner of #EnyobeniTavern, where 21 young people were killed, might soon be charged. The Eastern Cape Liquor Board says the owner blatantly contravened the liquor act by serving alcohol to minors. Dr Nombuyiselo Makala elaborates.
— Newzroom Afrika (@Newzroom405) June 27, 2022
This story originally appeared on Resist the Mainstream