Two killed in Bolivia blast at carnival time

Two killed in Bolivia blast at carnival time

La Paz (AFP) – A natural gas tank explosion killed two people Tuesday in the Bolivian city of Oruro, in the second such deadly blast around this year’s carnival festivities.

“Very saddened and concerned because we have a tragedy again, and the death of innocent bystanders in Oruro has our country in mourning after another explosion,” President Evo Morales said on Twitter.

Governor Victor Hugo Vasquez confirmed the two fatalities in the northwestern city known for its cobblestoned streets and colorful carnival celebrations. Local media said between four and six others were hurt the blast.

On Saturday, another tank exploded in the same area and killed eight people and injured another 41.

In Oruro, about 25,000 dancers take part in the pre-Lenten blowout that is Bolivia’s biggest tourist attraction and brings as many as half a million people to the sleepy town.

The pageant along the city’s cobblestones is a mixture of Spanish colonial traditions with those of the ancient indigenous Inca and Aymara peoples in a ritual seeking better farming and good health.

In 2001, the UNESCO cultural organization declared the carnival an intangible cultural heritage of humanity.