Residents from Colombia’s Caribbean city of Santa Marta took to the streets to show their support to the families of 33 people who perished in a tragic bus fire last week in the village of Fundacion, national media reported on Tuesday.
The march, which took place in the northern state of Magdalena, was a symbolic act that community leaders put on to help alleviate the pain and heartbreak that devastated the region when a bus caught fire on May 18, killing 30 children and one adult, Colombian newspaper Vanguardia reported.
Three of the wounded victims were taken to the Adelita de Char Clinic in Barranquilla. One seven-year-old boy died last week due to his extensive injuries, another passed away Monday morning due to respiratory failure bringing the total fatalities to 33. A third child, aged five, remains in intensive care.
“They are [our] countrymen; our brothers, therefore I invite all the people of Santa Marta, the young adults, to join us this morning in this march,” said community organizer Orlando Rojas, adding, “it’s an act of solidarity of the heart where anyone who has children or grandchildren should attend. When I see my two-year old granddaughter, this tragedy immediately comes to mind, and I imagine those children there.”
Citizens of the popular beachside city of Santa Marta, which is located 50 miles due north of Fundacion, marched in the streets wearing white t-shirts and were given carnations to wear to show their support to their neighbors in the south, El Universal newspaper reported.
“Since we can’t go there [Fundacion], we want them to know that the community leaders of Santa Marta have not been indifferent, that this has hurt us and has touched our hearts. We feel this event as our own, so together today we want to show to the country that Magdalena is a united state,” said Rojas.
A collective funeral for the 33 innocents lost in the tragedy will be held in Fundacion on Wednesday after officials release the remains back to their families.