Bus driver protests in Colombia’s third largest city of Cali turn into chaos with several people allegedly suffering burn injuries from a firebomb Tuesday.
Bus drivers have been protesting against the Integrated System of Mass Transit (MIO) since mid-August. However on Tuesday the protest not only created massive congestion and lack of public transportation in the city, it also allegedly resulted in 15 wounded, nine of which suffered from first degree burns from a firebomb being thrown into a bus during the protests, reported newspaper El Pais.
A witness of the firebomb attack said that, “the bus stopped to pick up MIO passengers, suddenly a person who was outside threw a bag filled with gasoline, then another threw a match. I came back on my own, and I had to jump, I burned my eyelashes. When I saw people being pulled from the MIO, they all had burns, I do not know how I wasn’t burned as much as them, I was in the middle of the flames.”
Five of the seven wounded were reportedly sent to a clinic and discharged that afternoon, all burn injuries are reported to be first degree burns. Although the remaining two patients are not in critical conditions, they are still under medical observation.
The protests were instigated by the imminent departure of at least 20 public transport companies by the first of November. 49 old bus routes were eliminated on Monday alone, sparking the protests Tuesday. MIO will be replacing old routes and buses with new routes prompting continued riots and protests in the city.
According to Caracol Radio, 14 people were arrested and six people were injured during the protest.