In South Africa, a pub visit for at least 20 people has ended horribly.

The accident happened after a celebration at a popular tavern in a poor area of ​​East London in the east of the country.

According to the police, 17 visitors were found dead in the restaurant on Sunday morning, three later died in hospital.

The victims are around 18 to 20 years old.

A spokesman said it could not be ruled out that the number of deaths would continue to rise.

According to press reports, a total of 35 people have been reported missing.

By the afternoon there were no reports of survivors among the tavern-goers.

The police continued to puzzle over the cause of death.

There is no obvious evidence of injuries, it said.

Hundreds of residents gathered in front of the restaurant on Sunday.

Many of them searched for relatives and friends, but were not allowed to the scene of the crime by the police.

"We still don't know what happened here," said Eastern Cape Prime Minister Oscar Mabuyane, shocked.

South Africa's Police Minister Bheki Cele was expected at the scene of the accident on Sunday.