Mexico City Mayor criticizes club, police, over stampede that killed 12
Mexico City's mayor has criticized both a club owner and police in the wake of a raid Friday night that left 12 dead — including a girl of 13 — as people rushed to leave the building.
Police went to the News Divine club, where more than 500 people had crowded in to celebrate the end of school. The officers were looking for drugs and underage drinkers. As the partiers fled, nine of them — many under 16 — and three officers were trampled to death.
"The city is indignant," Mayor Marcelo Ebrard told reporters on Saturday. "This place should not have been operating."
But "there were serious errors" by the police, he said, and "all of the public servants directly involved" have been suspended. A city official later said that included the police officer who led the raid.
Officials said the club owner announced police were in the building, setting off the rush for the exits. But the only emergency exit was obstructed by cases of beer, they said.
Winesses said the police fired tear gas, but police Chief Joel Ortega denied that.
Ortega said the club had been closed in 2007 because of safety and other rule violations, but the owner had gotten the ruling overturned.
The owner was among the 39 people detained by police, he said.