By Naom Obure

At least 22 people have been found dead inside a nightclub in South Africa amid claims they were poisoned.

Police rushed to the Enyobeni Tavern in Scenery Park, a township in the southern city of East London, in the early hours of Sunday after receiving reports from the public.
Brigadier Tembinkosi Kinana said those killed in the club are believed to be aged between 18 and 20.

The Eastern Cape provincial community and safety department official Unathi Binqose ruled out a stampede as cause of death. He said he understood the patrons were students ‘celebrating pens down, a party held after writing (high school) exams’.

However, regional newspaper Dispatch Live reported claims that those who died were exposed to some kind of poison.

Empty bottles of alcohol, wigs and even a pastel purple ‘Happy Birthday’ sash lay strewn on the dusty street outside the double-storey Enyobeni Tavern, according to Unathi Binqose, a safety government official who arrived at the scene at dawn.

Local reports suggest none of the bodies had any obvious wounds or injuries, ruling out suggestions that a stampede or similar tragic incident would have occurred.

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