Bolivia partygoers killed in gas explosion

Published: 12 February 2018

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At least eight people, including three children have been confirmed dead after a gas canister exploded during the annual Oruro Carnival in Bolivia on Saturday.

More than 40 others were injured, with several airlifted to the nearby city of La Paz for treatment as local hospitals struggled to cope with the influx.

The deadly explosion took place near the main entrance to the carnival, reaching up to 50 meters away.

Officials called the blast a “tragic accident” caused by hot oil weakening the hose of a local vendor’s gas canister.

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Photo: Street vendors sit near the site where a gas canister exploded, AP Media

Bolivia’s President Evo Morales Ayma promised to help those impacted.

“In dismay we received news of deaths recorded by the explosion of a gas canister near the Folkloric Entrance of the Carnival of Oruro,” he tweeted.

“All our solidarity to the families of victims. We will provide necessary help to injured people. Let the causes of the tragedy be established.”

It's estimated that more than 450,000 locals and tourists gather for the 10-day Oruro Carnival which has become Bolivia’s largest annual festival.

Firefighters and emergency crews have started the process of sifting through the damage on the streets, while locals have begun to pay tribute to those killed.

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Photo: Relatives carry the tiny coffin of a young victim of a gas can explosion, AP Media