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Latino Daily News

Monday May 26, 2014

Death Toll from Bus Fire in Colombia Now Stands at 33, Mostly Children

One of the children injured in a May 18 bus fire in northern Colombia died Monday at a hospital in Barranquilla, media outlets said, raising the death toll from the incident to 33.

Dianis Lorena Tapia Garcia, 9, suffered second- and third-degree burns to the body that were treated without success at the Adelita de Char Clinic, the Barranquilla daily El Heraldo said.

The accident occurred on Sunday near Fundacion, a town on the Atlantic coast, where the bus carrying 52 people - all but two of them children - burst into flames.

The fire started as the kids, ranging in age from 2 to 12, were headed home to Fundacion after attending a celebration at a Pentecostal church.

Authorities said the bus had not been certified for operation since 2012 and that the vehicle was vastly overloaded.

The tragedy initially left 31 minors dead and 20 injured, but one of the children admitted to the Adelita de Char Clinic died last Friday and was buried in Fundacion.

Added to the list was the little girl who died Monday.

Identification of the children who died took a week and their collective funeral will be held on Wednesday in Fundacion.

Driver Jaime Gutierrez Ospina and Salvador Ibarra, a United Pentecostal Church of Colombia member who apparently hired the bus, are facing manslaughter charges, prosecutors said.

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