AT LEAST 13 clubbers were crushed to death as police raided a venue breaching coronavirus rules in Peru.

About 120 people tried to escape the Thomas Restobar club yesterday in Lima when police tried to break up the party.

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Six people were injured – including three police officers – after neighbours raised the alarm about the club being open in the Los Olivos district of the capital.

Clubgoers tried to squeeze through the only entrance door and became trapped between the door and a staircase leading to the street, the Interior Ministry said.

Orlando Velasco of the National Police told local radio station RPP: "In these circumstances when people begin to fight to get out, it's tumultuous, everyone goes against each other."

This caused 13 people to be crushed to death or asphyxiated.

Peru also detained at least 23 people, the ministry said.

Authorities said "criminal irresponsibility" by an "unscrupulous businessman" was to blame.

They added: "The Ministry of the Interior deeply regrets the death of 13 people as a consequence of the criminal irresponsibility of an unscrupulous businessman; and extends his most heartfelt condolences to family members (of the victims)."

Peru ordered the closure of nightclubs and bars in March.

The government re-imposed a ban on extended family gatherings on August 12 and a Sunday curfew is also in effect.

Peru currently has Latin America's second-highest infection rate.

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.

More to follow…

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