Pope Francis on Tuesday sent a telegram to Colombia expressing his condolences for the more than 30 children who lost their lives in a tragic bus accident on Sunday.
The telegram, signed as custom by the Vatican’s Secretary of State Pietro Parolin, read that Pope Francis was “deeply saddened” after learning of the deadly incident.
On Sunday, at least 30 children were killed after their bus caught fire in Colombia’s northern state of Magdalena.
The exact number of victims is unclear because several reports on the number of passengers differ.
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. Initial reports suggested a mechanical failure caused the fire.
The Pope asked for the church authorities of Colombia to pay special attention to the tragedy and promote prayers for an eternal rest for those children.
The leader of the Catholic Church said that he hopes that recovery can come as soon as possible to the families of the deceased with the help of “his feelings of heaviness…together with hope and comfort for the wounds, and with life.”
The tragedy took place in the town of Fundacion.