Thursday 25 December 2014

Colombia church bus fire kills 31 children, one adult

Published 19/05/2014 | 08:44


The charred remains of a bus, in which children died in, is seen in Fundacion, northern Colombia, May 18, 2014. As many as 26 people, most believed to be children, were killed and others injured in northern Colombia when fire broke out on a bus taking them to a church event, local media reported.  REUTERS/Stringer  (COLOMBIA - Tags: SOCIETY DISASTER) TEMPLATE OUT
The charred remains of a bus, in which children died in, is seen in Fundacion, northern Colombia
Colombian policemen stand alongside recovered bodies of children who died in a burned bus in Fundacion, northern Colombia

THIRTY-ONE children and one adult were killed in Colombia yesterday when fuel exploded on a broken-down bus returning from a church event, an emergency response coordinator said.

The charred bodies of victims were being identified using dental records in Barranquilla, the nearest city to Fundacion town where the accident happened, said Major Eduardo Velez, coordinator of Magdalena province's emergency response corps.


Eighteen people managed to escape and were being treated at hospitals in the region.


"There was a canister of gasoline inside the vehicle. The fire spread very fast," Velez told Reuters.


He said the fire started after the driver attempted to start the faulty bus by pouring fuel into the engine which he accessed through the floor of the cabin. The driver escaped unharmed and was being questioned by police, he said.


The bus was owned by a private transport company and was used during the week to take children to and from school.


President Juan Manuel Santos was traveling to Fundacion to console relatives of the victims.


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