The mystery remains over the death of 21 young people, at the end of June, in an informal bar in East London, South Africa, after the publication of the first toxicological analyzes, which bring no conclusion, authorities announced on Tuesday July 19. South Africans.
Tests carried out by a laboratory in Cape Town revealed the presence of alcohol in the blood of the victims, but not at a lethal level, said Litha Matiwane, of the Eastern Cape provincial health service. “What we have determined as the blood alcohol level ranges from 0.50 to 2.60 grams per liter of blood, which does not allow to conclude to a lethal toxicology”, indicated the doctor during a press briefing televised from East London.
Regarding carbon monoxide, hemoglobin saturation levels in the blood range from 3.3% to 21%, well below the lethal threshold of 50%, he said. The lab also found methanol in the blood of all the victims, but further testing is needed to determine the amount, he added.
The 21 young people, aged between 14 and 20, had died in mysterious circumstances in the Enyobeni bar in the township of Scenery Park, East London. Most of the bodies were found on June 26 in the bar with no apparent injuries. Some had died in the following hours in the hospital. Authorities had ruled out the possibility of a deadly stampede. Survivors spoke of a “stuffy smell” and testimonies suggested intoxication or poisoning.
The owner of this clandestine but tolerated bar, aged 52, must appear in court on August 19 to answer charges of selling alcohol to minors. Two of its employees, aged 33 and 34, have already been fined 2,000 rand (120 euros) for the same reason, said the South African police.