19 May 2014

31 Children Dies in Columbia Bus Fire

Tragedy Struck Columbia
Today should be considered as one of the worst day in child welfare and safety after a bus packed with children burst into flames in Colombia.

A total of 31 children were burned to death. The children were between the ages of 1 and 8. Another 24 children and one adult were injured and seriously burned in the accident near the town of Fundacion on 18 May 2014.

At least 18 people managed to escape the fire and are now being treated for minor burns at various hospitals in the region.

The bus was picking up children from a religious event at a church when the blaze began, Col. Adan Leon told CNN affiliate Caracol TV.

"Everyone started to scream and run," a child who was on the bus told Caracol, describing how he escaped through a window.

Coordinator of Magdalena Province's emergency response, Major Eduardo Velez, told reporters that 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 authorities. However, this did not prevent angry residents from pelting the driver's house with stones.

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos expressed condolences on Twitter Sunday and traveled to the northern Colombian municipality to be with victims.

"The country is in mourning," he said.

This blog would also like to extend its condolences to the family of the victims and hopes that child safety and standards are continually addressed worldwide. It is time to weed out the corrupt officials wherever they may be and put sustained efforts in improving children's lives.