Thousands mourn bus crash victims

Feb. 12, 2013 at 9:16 AM
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RANCAGUA, Chile, Feb. 12 (UPI) -- Thousands of mourners gathered at a stadium in Rancagua, Chile, for soccer fans who died after the bus they were in drove off a mountainside road.

Sixteen people died Saturday when the driver of a bus carrying 45 fans of the O'Higgins soccer team lost control of the vehicle near the town of Tome. The group was on its way back to Rancagua after attending a game in Talcahuano where O'Higgins defeated Huachipato, 2-0.

Most of the dead were teenagers. The youngest was the 1-year-old son of the driver, The Santiago Times reported Monday.

Mourners gathered at Teniente de Rancagua stadium to pay respects to 14 of the victims Monday. Private services for two other victims were held Sunday, the Times reported.

Luiz Castillo, the health ministry's undersecretary of aid assistance networks, said some of the injured survivors are still being treated in area hospitals.

"There are still many injuries that are going to require operations in the coming days," Castillo told CNN Chile. "In the Grant Benavente Hospital in Concepcion there are still some patients requiring monitoring, who are in a quite critical condition."

The Traffic Accident Investigation Department ruled out mechanical failure as the cause of the accident.

Capt. Boris Yanez said his team believes the driver's inexperience was a factor.

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