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Police and forensics experts inspect the site of an explosion in Oruro, Bolivia, that killed eight on Saturday night. Photo: EPA

Eight dead as deep-fried llama stall explodes in Bolivia amid Carnival celebrations


A street vendor’s cooking gas container exploded amid a Carnival celebration in the Bolivian city of Oruro, killing eight and injuring 40 others, police said.

The vendor, who was cooking deep fried llama rinds, had likely dripped hot oil onto the hose of the cooking gas container, prompting the blast on Saturday night, Oruro police chief Romel Raña said.

The accident took place on a crowded street not far from the main route of the festival’s 4km parade. Three children were killed and several others were in critical care, he said.

President Evo Morales on Saturday night expressed his condolences on social media.
Luisa Calderon (left), a survivor of an explosion that caused eight deaths in Oruro, is treated in San Juan de Dios General Hospital in the city. Photo: EPA
Locals watch from behind of a barricade at the scene of an explosion in the city of Oruro. Photo: EPA
“We are dismayed at the news of the deaths caused by the explosion,” Morales wrote.

Oruro is a high-altitude city of 265,000 located about three hours southeast of the country´s capital of La Paz.

The city´s well-known Carnival festival, one of countless such celebrations throughout Latin America this weekend and early next week, is expected to attract upwards of 400,000 visitors from Bolivia and abroad, tourism officials said.

The 10-day festival includes as many as 6,000 musicians and thousands more dancers in bright-coloured masks and folkloric dress and was declared a cultural heritage site by the United Nations.