Night club stampede claims 17 lives

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At least 17 people, including eight minors, have been killed after the detonation of a tear gas device inside a crowded club in Venezuela's capital, Caracas, according to officials.

Seven people have been arrested and authorities are investigating.

"Some died from asphyxiation, others from injuries sustained when they tried to escape the room when the explosive was detonated".

A further five people were injured and are being treated by medics, Mr Reverol said.

AP news agency says one of the injured people told his father that the tear gas was launched from inside a bathroom. "We send our condolences to the families", Reverol said.

Media reported quoting the Minister, "The stampede was triggered when a tear-gas canister was set off during a brawl".

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"The majority of the deceased... were between 16 and 20 years old", journalist Darvinson Rojas told La Patilla news website. Another son of his had been hospitalized.

Homicide rates in Venezuela shot up during the country's spiral into economic crisis and political meltdown, and many Caracas residents refuse to go out at night.

At least 17 people have died after a nightclub brawl led to a stampede in Venezuela.

Jesus Armas, an opposition councilman who lives in the neighbourhood, said the interior ministry should explain how a civilian was able to obtain tear gas canisters that should only be utilised by state security forces.

Authorities said non-governmental groups inflate figures to create paranoia and tarnish President Nicolás Maduro's socialist government.

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