ORURO, Bolivia – At least six people died, including four children, and 28 others were injured in an apparent gas explosion on Saturday in the Bolivian city of Oruro, police said.
The explosion occurred close to where a carnival celebration was being held.
Initial police investigations indicate that it could have been caused by oil spilling onto a gas canister at a food stall, the police chief for the department of Oruro, Romer Raña, told reporters at the scene.
The explosion had a blast radius of 50 meters (164 feet), Raña added.
He confirmed that among the deceased there were four minors, and that at least 28 people had been taken to hospital with injuries.
Bolivian President Evo Morales said he was “dismayed” after learning of these “deaths due to an explosion of a gas canister near the Folkloric Entrance of the Oruro Carnival.”
“All our solidarity to the families of the victims, we will provide the necessary help to the wounded, and the causes of the tragedy will be established,” Morales wrote on Twitter.
Emergency workers and police have cordoned off the scene as investigations were underway.
The Oruro Carnival, one of the largest in South America, was expected to attract up to 450,000 people on Saturday.