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South Africa's 21 teens who died in tavern were suffocated – Health Authorities

FILE- A view of the inside of the Enyobeni Tavern where 21 teenagers lost their live...   -  
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AP/Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

South Africa

Twenty-one young people who died in a tavern tragedy in June were suffocated, five parents said on Thursday, relaying to reporters information given to them by health department officials as the conclusion of an official probe.

The teenagers died at the Enyobeni tavern in East London's Scenery Park township in the early hours of June 26, shocking the country and resulting in several investigations by the police and liquor license authorities.

Multiple causes for the death of the teens had been flagged in past weeks, including poisoning from what they may have eaten or drunk.

"The report has come out but I'm not happy about it," said Xolile Malangeni, whose 17-year-old girl, Esinako, was among the victims.

Xolile and others complained that the results were communicated by the authorities to them verbally.

It is unclear what caused the youths to suffocate. Local news TV eNCA reported on Thursday that asphyxiation had been caused by overcrowding.

In July, the Associated Press reported that the toxic chemical methanol has been identified as a possible cause of the deaths of 21 teenagers.

The owner of the bar has been arrested and charged with supplying minors with alcohol.

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