Majority of people crushed to death in Peru nightclub had coronavirus

All but two of the thirteen people who died in a stampede as police raided an illegal party in Peru had coronavirus, local authorities have revealed.

Peru’s public prosecutor said 11 of the revellers who were crushed to death or suffocated were tested posthumously and came back positive.

In a statement President Martín Vizcarra added 15 of the 23 people police detained while breaking up the event also tested positive.

Around 120 people had gathered for an illegal party at the Thomas Restobar club in the capital, Lima, on Saturday night.

Neighbouring residents called police to the scene, after which crowds rushed to flee the venue.

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Authorities said a large group tried to squeeze through the only door of the second-floor disco, trampling on one another and becoming trapped between the door and a staircase leading to the street, according to authorities.

After the stampede, police had to force open the door. The government denied claims by some victims’ relatives that officers used tear gas during the raid, adding in a statement that no firearms were used either.

The deceased included 12 women and one man between the ages of 20 and 30, while three other clubgoers and three police officers sustained injuries. The 60 officers who took part in the raid are also being tested for Covid-19.

Nightclubs and bars have been banned from opening since August 12 along with a Sunday curfew and bans on extended family gatherings.

The club’s owners, a married couple, were among those detained, although representatives of the business have yet to comment on the incident.

President Vizcarra condemned the couple but said that similar events were all too common.

At a public event on Sunday he said: ‘I have sorrow and I have sadness for the people and relatives of the people who have died, but I also have anger and indignation for those who were irresponsible by organizing this type of event.

‘Please reflect, let’s not lose more lives due to negligence.’

Peru’s infection rate is Latin America’s second-highest after Brazil, according to Reuters. It has recorded almost 600,000 as of Sunday, more than twice the tally on July 2, and the official death toll has risen to 27,633.

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