Thirteen dead during police raid in Peru’s Thomas Restobar club Nightclub for violating Covid-19 restrictions

Around thirteen people were crushed to death or asphyxiated as the partygoers tried to escape a Lima nightclub after it was raided by police for hosting a party in violation of Covid-19 restrictions.

At least 6 were injured, including 3 police officers, as about120 people tried to flee the Thomas Restobar club in Lima’s Los Olivos district on Saturday night as police arrived to stop the event, which neighbors had reported, said national police and government officials.

The Thomas Restobar  club owners, a married couple, were detained, said the Interior Ministry on Sunday. The ministry in an previous statement blamed the deaths on the “criminal irresponsibility of an unscrupulous businessman.”

The partygoers had become trapped between the only entrance door of the club, which was closed, and a staircase leading to the street, said police. The thirteen victims involving eleven men and two women within the ages of 20 and 30.

Peru had  ordered the closure of nightclubs and bars in March and banned the extended family gatherings on 12th August to fight against coronavirus, which in Latin America is second highest infection rate, as per the Reuters tally. A Sunday curfew is also in effect.

Rosario Sasieta, Peru’s women’s minister called for harsh penalties for the club’s owners.

“I ask for the maximum sanction for the owners of this place, which has really been irresponsible, and we are talking about a malicious homicide for profit,” Sasieta told journalists during a visit to the site on Sunday morning.

“Knowing that there is a health emergency, knowing that not even at home you can meet with relatives who do not live there, you have the irresponsibility of opening a place for 120 people to enter?” she added.

Representatives of the nightclub were not immediately available to comment.

At least twenty three partygoers were detained by police as part of their investigation, said the interior ministry.


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