Venezuela tear gas explosion, stampede kills 17

June 16 (UPI) — A tear gas device detonated at a middle school graduation party in Venezuela’s capital city Caracas Saturday morning set off a stampede that killed at least 17 people.

Eight minors were part of the dead, who suffered suffocation or multiple trauma. The majority of those who died were between 16 and 20 years old. Five were injured in the incident including one with serious injuries.

The tear gas was set off during a fight that occurred Saturday, leading to a stampede of more than 500 people rushing for exits, according to Interior and Justice Minister Nestor Reverol.

Witnesses told officials a minor, one of seven people detained, is suspected of setting off the tear gas.

The club’s owner is also being questioned for not preventing weapons from being brought into the premises.