A fire displaced at least 1,000 people who were living in the old cellars of the national railway in the northeastern Colombian city of Bucaramanga.
“It appears that people were injured when they tried to enter to save some of their belongings amid the flames,” said the director of the Office of Disaster Prevention Bucaramanga Fredy Ragua, although he did not give exact numbers as to how many were affected.
Initial reports suggested that the fire was caused by a short circuit, but the commander of the Metropolitan Police in Bucaramanga, General Jose Angel, recently announced he believes the blaze was caused by a small child playing with fire.
The cellars were being used as shelter by at least 250 families who had been displaced by violence or severe weather conditions in the area.
The fire lasted at least two hours and the site was entirely consumed by flames. The police have since restricted access to the area in response to looting and rioting at the scene.
The municipal government is expected to announce a new place to house the victims in the coming hours.