LIMA, Peru – Thirteen people died in a rush at a disco in Peru after a police raid to enforce the lockdown of the country during the coronavirus pandemic.
The rush occurred in the Thomas disco in Lima, where about 120 people gathered for a party on Saturday evening, said the Interior Ministry.
According to authorities, people tried to escape through the only door of the disco on the second floor, trample each other and get trapped in a confined space.
After the rush, the police had to force open the door.
“I feel sorry for the relatives … but also anger and outrage at the business people who organized the event,”
23 people have been arrested and 15 of them have tested positive for the coronavirus and are being quarantined, Claudio Ramírez, a health ministry official, told reporters.
The party “was a breeding ground for the transmission of this disease, there was a viral load because it was a closed environment,” said Ramírez.
Franco Asensios, one of the participants in the party, told the local radio RPP that the raid began at 9 p.m. and authorities told party guests to let the women off first.
“People got excited and started to sink and then they said that people were choking in front of them,” said Asensios, who added that a friend who was taking him to the party found out on social media.
Some people at the scene said police fired gunshots and tear gas during the robbery, but Police Chief General Orlando Velasco denied this.
Alejandro Ruiz, a security guard on the street the disco is on, told RPP that parties had previously been held there.
“The sound was heard two blocks away,” said Ruiz. When police cars drove by, people in the disco turned off the lights and turned down the volume of the music, he said.
The building that houses the nightclub is dilapidated on the outside and is located in an industrial area in the Los Olivos district of Lima.
Felipe Castillo, mayor of the district, told local television N that the club is their responsibility but that surveillance and surveillance on the streets is “precarious” due to the effects of the pandemic, which includes reducing taxation.
Night clubs have been banned from operating since March due to the pandemic. Peru started lifting quarantine restrictions on June 30th in an attempt to get the economy going again. The number of viral infections reported daily has doubled to more than 9,000 in recent weeks.
Peru has reported about 27,500 deaths from the new coronavirus.