BOGOTA – Nine people were killed and 13 others injured when a bus collided with a dump truck on a highway in Colombia’s Eastern Plains, while another bus accident left 21 people injured, a police spokesman said Sunday.
The accident occurred on the highway between Puerto Lopez and Puerto Gaitan in the central province of Meta, National Police deputy highway patrol director Col. Jaime Enrique Moreno said.
A Transportes Arimena bus collided with the dump truck while apparently speeding, Moreno said, citing eyewitnesses.
Several of the bus passengers were killed instantly, the police spokesman said.
The 13 injured people were taken to hospitals in Puerto Lopez and Puerto Gaitan.
Highway patrol officers are investigating the crash and trying to determine the cause, Moreno said.
An Expreso Bolivariano bus, meanwhile, flipped over while traveling from Manizales to Bogota, injuring 21 passengers.
The injured passengers were taken to the hospital in the city of Honda.
Investigators are trying to determine whether the bus experienced mechanical problems or the accident was caused by speeding, a highway patrol spokesman said.
Two other buses were burned by suspected guerrillas on a highway in the east-central province of Boyaca after the occupants were forced to get out.
The vehicles were set on fire by suspected members of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, guerrilla group on the highway between the towns of Socha and Socota, military spokesmen said.
The FARC, Colombia’s oldest and largest leftist guerrilla group, was founded in 1964, has an estimated 8,000 to 17,000 fighters and operates across a large swath of this Andean nation.