At least 17 people, mostly young people, were found dead in a nightclub in a mostly black slum in the South African city of East London (south), local media reported on Sunday.

“There are 17 boys who were found (dead) in a late night bar here in East London. The circumstances surrounding this incident are unknown at this time,” provincial police chief Thembinkosi Kinana told eNCA television.

“We are still investigating the circumstances surrounding this incident,” he added. The person in charge indicated that the victims were between 18 and 20 years old.

Police and South African emergency services are still at the bar, known as the Enyobeni Tavern.

According to the local’s Facebook page, this bar had been booked on Saturday night to celebrate the birthday of two people.

Photos shared on social networks, and whose authenticity could not be verified, showed bodies without visible signs of injuries lying on the ground at the scene.

Local television broadcast images of police trying to calm a crowd gathered outside the nightclub in this city on the shores of the Indian Ocean, about 1,000 kilometers south of Johannesburg.

The spokesperson for the Department of Transport of the Eastern Cape province, Unathi Bonqosi. He noted that authorities are still trying to determine the exact number of deceased, so that figure could be even higher.

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