At least 17 people were killed in a stampede at a nightclub in capital Caracas on Saturday morning after the explosion of a tear gas bomb, Venezuela's interior minister Nestor Luis Reverol said.
The accident occurred in the early hours of Saturday at a nightclub in the El Paraiso neighborhood during a celebration of graduation of high school students, when a tear gas bomb was activated during a fight between several people, causing a stampede of hundreds of people, Reverol said on Venezuelan state television.
Eight minors were among the dead, and five other people were injured, including one in critical condition who were being treated at nearby hospitals, said Reverol."Seven arrests have been made until now, including two minors. According to eyewitnesses, one of the minors was the one responsible for throwing... the tear gas," said the minister.
Reverol added that the nightclub manager had also been arrested for breaking the law against "avoiding the entry of firearms and ammunition" into establishments organizing such events.
He said the nightclub had been closed and that future arrests might be made, as well as expressing the condolences of President Nicolas Maduro and the government.