Six people died from asphyxiation and two others were injured on Sunday morning in a confused incident at a bar in the southern part of this capital, police said, adding that they are investigating the matter.

The commander of the Bogota Metropolitan Police, Gen. Luis Martinez, confirmed the deaths of five women and one man and said that they appear to have died because the small bar did not have sufficient ventilation.

The injured were taken to hospitals near the bar, police said.

"The cause of death of the six people is asphyxiation ... because the place where they were was very tight and there were a lot of people," Martinez told reporters.

Several witnesses said that a disturbance broke out in the bar and when police arrived the officers used excessive force in reimposing order, employing pepper spray, which caused further chaos.

In response to those complaints, Martinez said that authorities are investigating the incident, adding that his men responded to a telephone call reporting a fight at a public establishment.

The bar where the people died had already been closed down on four occasions because it was not authorized to operate into the early morning hours. EFE