The first day of Carnival celebrations in Oruro, Bolivia, left a total of 21 dead and 72 people injured in two separate accidents.
Bolivia: Gas Explosion Near Carnival Kills 6, Injures 28
On Sunday, a “mixed vehicle” transporting people and cargo fell off a cliff in the state of Cochabamba as it was trying to pass another vehicle on the narrow and foggy road of Misicuni, according to Bolivian Police Commander in Chief Faustino Mendoza.
“Well, it’s been a sad day and unfortunately we had several accidents," Menzona told journalists during the first day of Carnival.
In another incident, a street food stand exploded in one of the Carnival routes, killing eight people and injuring 47. The explosion was apparently caused by a gas leak, as oil wore away the hose for the liquified gas tank. The stand was run by a 71-year-old woman. Some of the fatal victims were her children and grandchildren who were with her at the moment of the explosion.
Bolivian President Evo Morales expressed his concern and condolences to the victim’s relatives.
“We’re very concerned about the registered dead caused by a gas tank explosion near the Folkloric Entrance to the Oruro Carnival. All our solidarity for the victim’s families. We will bring help to those in need. The tragedy causes must be investigated,” tweeted Morales.
Several more died in a car crash in the La Paz-Oruro highway.
Oruro’s Carnival is one of the most important and popular in Bolivia, and is attended by thousands of people. It has its origin in the Indigenous Uru Uru festivities and was declared an Intangible Heritage of Humanity by Unesco in 2001.