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Five die in Peru disco stampede

  • Story Highlights
  • Police look for person who threw tear gas canister in Peru disco
  • Three women and two men die from asphyxiation as stampede ensues
  • Hundreds trample each other trying to flee from the disco
  • Prosecutor says a suspect hasn't been identified
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LIMA, Peru (CNN) -- Police in Peru were searching Friday for the person who threw a tear gas canister into an unlicensed discotheque early Christmas Day, causing a stampede that killed five people, Peruvian news reports said.

Police also want to talk with the owner or manager of the disco, El Buum, in the southern Peruvian city of Juliaca, the state-run Andina news agency reported.

Three women and two men died from asphyxiation as hundreds of young people trampled each other trying to get out of the disco, Andina reported. The three women have been identified as two 20-year-olds and a 17-year-old, but the two men remained unidentified.

At least six others ended up in the hospital.

One person remained hospitalized Friday with a broken leg, the report said. Others injured were treated and released. Video footage showed some receiving oxygen, and one man apparently unconscious on a gurney.

TV images of rescuers rushing into the upstairs disco captured some of the pandemonium.

"Help us, please," one woman is heard yelling desperately.

"Water," a man pleads.

"Open the door," someone else shouts.

Survivors described the panic.

"You could see all the people leaving, dragging each other, asking for water. And my sister, I found her fallen to the ground. I took her to the hospital, but she was unfortunately already dead," Canal N TV, a Peruvian 24-hour cable news channel, quoted one young man as saying.

"The kids were falling. They fell to the ground and everyone was crying out for water. It was packed," an unidentified young woman is quoted as telling Canal N.

Prosecutor Carmen Huapaya said a suspect has not been identified.

According to the Andina news agency, residents had been asking authorities to close the disco because of inappropriate drinking.

The disco did not have a proper license, Andina said.

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