Caracas— Seventeen people, including eight minors, were killed at a crowded Caracas club early on Saturday when a tear gas canister was detonated, setting off a stampede, Venezuelan officials said.
The deaths occurred after a brawl broke out during a middle school graduation party and someone detonated the tear gas, sending more than 500 people rushing for the exits, said Interior and Justice Minister Nestor Reverol.
In comments aired on state VTV television, Reverol put the death toll at 17.
Witnesses said a minor, one of seven people detained in the incident, is suspected of setting off the tear gas.
Official reports said the victims died of suffocation or multiple trauma. At least five people were hurt in the incident and taken to hospital for treatment.
Meanwhile, shooting broke out at an all-night cultural festival in Trenton, New Jersey, early on Sunday, sending people fleeing and leaving at least one person dead and more than a dozen injured, police said.
The shooting began at the Art All Night festival – that showcases local art, music, and food – a little before 03:00 on Sunday morning.
The event began on Saturday afternoon and was scheduled to continue until Sunday afternoon. It typically draws thousands of people.
Trenton police Lt Darren Zappley told The Trentonian that multiple people were shot and were taken to the hospital. The person who was killed was not immediately identified.
Angelo Nicolo told Philadelphia 6ABC TV that he and his brother were at the event when they heard loud popping sounds. He said people started running down the street.
“I saw two police officers escort a guy that got shot in the leg. They bandaged him up and whisked him away,” Nicolo said.—AP.