The number of children confirmed dead after a bus caught fire in the north of Colombia has been raised to 30, local authorities said Monday. At least one adult was killed too.
According to the authorities, 12 injured victims were sent to hospital for treatment.
The exact number of victims is unclear because reports on the number of passengers differ.
The driver of the bus, a 56-year-old local without drivers license and $250 in outstanding traffic fines, reportedly surrendered to authorities after initially fleeing the scene of the tragedy.
While authorities are still investigating the cause of the fatal accident, one witness told French press agency AFP that the driver had walked away from the vehicle to buy a drink and asked the children to put gas in the vehicle, after which the bus caught fire.
Initially, National Police commander Rodolfo Palomino had said that “apparently a mechanical failure caused the fire inside the bus.”
President Juan Manuel Santos flew to Fundacion, the town where the tragedy happened, to meet with family members of the victims.