South African authorities are still looking for answers after 21 underage teenagers partying at a nightclub died under mysterious circumstances.
According to CBS News, new details emerging reveal survivors speaking of a strong and suffocating smell in the wall-to-wall-packed two-story building. Bodies of many of the victims were discovered by police laying on tables, in chairs and couches, as well as sprawled on the dance floor of the club in the early hours of Sunday morning (June 26).
"They died as they danced. They dance, fall, and die. Literally," Police Minister Bheki Cele told CBS News. "Others would just feel dizzy, sleep on the sofa, (and) die. It tells you the story that they were all kids because somebody should have taken note."
Police have reportedly sent forensic samples from the victims to a toxicology laboratory to investigate whether the teens ingested poison or a toxin at the party as a result of a possible gas leak.
Sinovuyo Monyane, 19, who was hired by the bar to promote an alcohol brand says she’s lucky to be alive, but still doesn’t know what exactly happened.
"We tried moving through the crowd, shouting 'please let us through,' and others were shouting 'we are dying, guys,' and 'we are suffocating' and 'there are people who can't breathe'," she told AFP, noting she struggled to escape through a door jam packed with people. "I passed out at that moment. I was running out of breath and there was a strong smell of some type of spray…in the air. We thought it was pepper spray.”
Monyane added she regained consciousness after someone sprayed water on her. "I got up and realized that there were bodies lying around. I saw people being poured water, but those people did not even move. I could have died."
Special investigators from Pretoria were reportedly rushed to the scene of the tragedy, however no arrests have been made as of yet.