South African police investigating at least 22 deaths at East London tavern

NYP – CAPE TOWN – South African authorities are investigating the deaths of at least 22 patrons found inside a popular township tavern close to East London city, provincial health officials said on Sunday.

The bodies will be transported to state mortuaries where relatives are expected to help identify both male and female victims, said Siyanda Manana, a spokesperson for the Eastern Cape provincial health department.

“We are going to immediately be embarking on autopsies so we can know the probable cause of death,” he told Reuters as forensic personnel continued their work at the cordoned-off crime site at Enyobeni Tavern.

Forensic personnel load bodies of victims.
At least 22 patrons were found dead inside a popular township tavern close to East London city.
Forensic personnel load bodies of victims.
Officials plan to start autopsies as soon as possible to determine the cause of death.
Crowd gathers as forensic personnel investigate after the deaths of patrons found inside the Enyobeni Tavern.
The bodies will be transported to state mortuaries where relatives are expected to help identify the victims.

“We are talking 22 bodies right now,” Manana added.

Earlier Brigadier Tembinkosi Kinana said police were alerted by members of the public to the incident at Scenery Park, about two miles from the city center.

“The circumstances under which they died are under investigation,” Kinana told Reuters, adding it was too early to determine the cause of death of the young adults aged between 18-20 years.

Relatives and local community members look on.
Police were alerted by members of the public to the incident at Scenery Park.
Crowd gathers as forensic personnel investigate after the deaths of patrons found inside the Enyobeni Tavern.
A crowd gathers to watch as forensic personnel investigate.
A family member reacts next to a police officer.
A distraught relative of one of the victims talks to a police officer.
Relatives and local community members look on at the scene.
Relatives and local community members look on at the scene.

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