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Gas explosion at Bolivia carnival leaves 6 dead, 28 injured [Updated]

12 February 2018

A gas explosion at the Oruro carnival in Bolivia killed six people and injured at least 28, according to local media. Police said the February 10 explosion was caused by hot oil weakening the hose to a street vendor's gas canister, which caused a 50 metre-wide blast near the entrance to the carnival. Four children were among the dead.

Oruro carnival - Image: Bolivianlife.com
Oruro carnival - Image: Bolivianlife.com

President Evo Morales said he was dismayed by news of the deaths and confirmed that his government would help the injured.

The Oruro Carnival draws tourists from across Bolivia and around the world, and has been declared a world heritage event by UNESCO.

Update: Bolivian authorities said on February 18 that two explosions that killed 12 people during recent Carnival celebrations were caused by dynamite, not exploding gas canisters as initially thought.

Interior Minister Carlos Romero said officials are still trying to determine who planted the explosives in the southern city of Oruro, and why.

He said both the Feb. 10 and Feb. 13 explosions were caused by 3 kilograms (6.5 pounds) of dynamite.

The first, he said, was planted near the gas canister on the cart of a street food vendor, who was killed along with four members of her family and three other people.

The second explosion occurred only a few metres away three days later, killing four people.
Together, the explosions injured about 60 people.

Romero said that police also have found a small piece of dynamite in a hotel bathroom in the city, which is about 120 miles (190 kilometers) south of the capital, La Paz.

Oruro is in a mining area where dynamite is widely available.


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