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  HOME | Colombia (Click here for more)

Child Dies in Hospital, 32 Now Dead from Colombia Bus Fire

BOGOTA Ė One of the children injured in last weekendís bus fire in northern Colombia died Friday, bringing the death toll to 32.

Antonio Pabon, 7, was burned over 90 percent of his body and died in Camino Universitario Adelita de Char Hospital, the Barranquilla municipal health department said.

The accident occurred on Sunday near Fundacion, a town on the Atlantic coast, where the bus carrying 52 people burst into flames.

The fire started as the children, accompanied by just two adults, were headed home to Fundacion after attending a celebration at a Pentecostal church.

The children traveling on the bus ranged in age from 2 to 12.

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

Last Wednesday the national ombudsmanís office said that families of the children who died are suing the state for negligence in its duties regarding inspection and supervision of passenger transport by public vehicles.

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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