Stampede at club in Venezuela leaves 17 clubbers dead

At least 17 people were killed in a stampede during a graduation party at a nightclub in Caracas, the Venezuelan capital, authorities said on Saturday.

Néstor Reverol, the country’s interior minister, said on state television that the deaths occurred in the early morning when a fight broke out at the nightclub, El Paraíso, and someone set off a tear-gas canister.

“This caused a stampede of more than 500 people who were in the club,” Mr. Reverol said. Among the dead were eight minors, he said.

Many victims had gathered for a party ahead of their graduation, Mr. Reverol said.

Seven suspects were arrested, state television reported. The club has been closed and its owner arrested on suspicion of not checking patrons for weapons, which is a crime.