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Authorities to take action after tavern collapse

8 people died after a metal staircase railing gave way and caused some patrons to plummet to the ground.

8 people died after a metal staircase railing gave way and caused some patrons to plummet to the ground on 28 June 2015. Picture: Kabelo Kaybee via Facebook.

CAPE TOWN - Provincial officials say the Western Cape Liquor Authority will take appropriate action following a far-reaching probe into a deadly stampede at a tavern in Khayelitsha.

Eight people died after a metal staircase railing gave way and caused some patrons to plummet to the ground during the early hours of Sunday morning.

Two of the victims died on their way to hospital when the vehicle transporting them was involved in a collision.

A bent and broken metal staircase railing bears evidence of the drama that unfolded during the early hours of Sunday morning.

It's unclear what caused the chaos, but reports suggest the place was packed to capacity and people were either trying to get in or out via the main entrance which was accessible via a narrow staircase.

But one media report this morning suggested it was triggered by shots being fired inside the tavern.

Meanwhile, Western Cape MEC for Economic Opportunities Alan Winde, said officials will investigate whether minors were allowed into the tavern.

Winde said provincial officials will work with police to get to the bottom of what happened.

"The punitive measure is to remove their licence. We do ask in general that where people are breaking the law in this way that complaints are lodged with legal authorities. If we do know areas where this is happening, we'll come through and issue fines."

Winde said the Western Cape Liquor Authority has temporarily closed the tavern.

"The liquor authority was on site and now we're busy with the investigation and I'm concerned about the comments around young people being involved in that establishment."

Meanwhile, the father of the youngest victim said he had no idea his daughter was going to a tavern to celebrate her birthday.

Zamikhaya Zokufa said his daughter (15) was crushed during the commotion.

"When I got to the hospital, the doctors said she was already gone."

Had he known his teenage daughter would be celebrating her birthday at a tavern, the grieving father says he would have stopped her from going.

"I told her not to go to places like that and I didn't know she was going there. You can't go to a place where you drink with 5,000 people… what will happen if there's a fire?"