13 killed in crowd crush as police raid illegal party in Lima
Lima, Aug 23 (efe-epa).- At least 13 people were killed and six injured in a crowd crush at a nightclub in Peru’s capital Lima during a police raid to break up an illegal party that breached limits on social gatherings, the interior ministry said Sunday.
The fatal incident occurred on Saturday evening when police officers entered the club to break up the party of some 120 people. People were killed and injured when they were caught up in a crush between in the club’s stairwell.
Three of the injured were police officers.
In a statement, the ministry said police officers had not deployed the use of arms or tear gas to clear the gathering, as had previously been claimed by local media.
The police intervention came an hour before Peru’s nighttime curfew, which lasts from 10pm to 4am, came into effect, but the party breached the country’s emergency rules on social gatherings.
The party took place on the second floor of an establishment known as Thomas Restobar, located in the populous district of Los Olivos in the north of Lima. Police were called to the bar by local residents.
Speaking to local broadcaster RPP, general commander of the police, Orlando Velasco, said officers had expected to find some 20 to 30 people but instead discovered about 120 people in a small space.
In a bid to avoid arrest, many of the party-goers tried to escape down the only staircase toward the exit on the lower floor, prompting a stampede as people trampled over one another.
“At the bottom of the stairs there was a metal door that opened inwards,” he said.
Velasco added that an officer used a rope attached to his patrol car to rip the door off its hinges.