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Mexico City mayor suspends officials after nightclub stampede that killed 12
Mexico Nightclub De 8135563
Police officers stand outside the News Divine club in northeastern Mexico City, Friday, June 20, 2008. At least 10 people were trampled to death during a police raid on the nightclub Friday, the capital's police chief said. The police went to the club in the early evening to check reports of drugs and alcohol being sold to minors. - photo by Associated Press
    MEXICO CITY — Mexico City’s mayor expressed outrage Saturday that youths as young as 13 were among the dozen people killed in a nightclub stampede and said the officials involved in the police raid that sparked the crush had been suspended.
    Police went to check reports of underage drinking and drugs in the News Divine club in a working-class Mexico City neighborhood Friday evening, causing hundreds of customers to try to flee the club.
    About 500 young people — more than the club’s capacity — had packed the bar to celebrate the end of the school year, according to police. Witnesses and police said desperate customers tried to break out windows to escape and the only emergency exit was obstructed by cases of beer.
    ‘‘The city is indignant,’’ Mayor Marcelo Ebrard told a news conference. ‘‘What we saw yesterday was ethically unacceptable.’’
    City prosecutors said a 13-year-old girl died along with other customers younger than 16. The legal drinking age in Mexico City is 18. Three police officers also died in the crush at the club in Mexico City’s Nueva Atzacoalco district.
    Ebrard said ‘‘all of the public servants directly involved’’ in the raid had been suspended. The city prosecutor’s office said that included the police director who led the action.
    ‘‘There were serious errors’’ in the raid, Ebrard said, along with apparent irregularities in the operation of the bar.
    ‘‘This place should not have been operating,’’ Ebrard said, without specifying the problems.
    The club reportedly has been closed for violations in the past.
    The newspaper El Universal reported that adolescents ‘‘paid 30 pesos (about US$3) to drink alcohol’’ at the club.
    Police Chief Joel Ortega denied earlier media reports that officers threw tear gas inside the club, and also said no shots were fired.
    Television images showed glittery high-heel shoes and T-shirts strewn over the dance floor. Bodies covered with white sheets lay by the club’s entrance.
    Ortega said the club was closed down last year due to several safety and other violations, but the owner won an injunction and reopened it.
    Police detained 39 people including the owner, he said.
    Dozens of riot police were sent to control a crowd of sobbing relatives and friends that gathered at the scene.
    The tragedy revived memories of a 2000 fire at a glitzy Mexico City nightclub that killed 21 people. The emergency exit at the Lobohombo nightclub was locked with a chain, but few people were ever brought to justice for the deaths.

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