At least 13 people were crushed to death in Peru’s capital Lima after they tried to flee police that had arrived to break up an illegal rave breaching lockdown restrictions.
The officers stormed the second floor of the Thomas Restobar Club on Saturday night triggering a stampede in which six people were injured, including three police officers.
Neighbours alerted police to the event, thought to have been attended by 120 people, after they heard the loud music.
‘In these circumstances when people begin to fight to get out, it’s tumultuous, everyone goes against each other,’ Orlando Velasco of the National Police told local radio station RPP.
An Interior Ministry statement said the revellers tried to squeeze en masse through the only entrance door and became trapped between the door and a staircase leading to the street.
Police detained at least 23 partygoers, the ministry said.
Peru ordered the closure of nightclubs and bars in March and banned extended family gatherings on Aug. 12 to fight what is Latin America’s second highest COVID-19 infection rate, according to a Reuters tally. A Sunday curfew is also in effect.
Peru had recorded a total of 585,236 coronavirus cases as of Saturday, double the number reported on July 2, while the known death toll has risen to 27,453.