TODAY COLOMBIA NEWS – The driver of the minivan which exploded on Sunday, resulting in the deaths of 32 schoolchildren, and the pastor who hired it are to face charges of aggravated manslaughter, reported local media.
Luis González León, the national director of the sectional prosecutor announced Monday that the investigating agency will charge Jaime Gutierrez Ospina, the driver of the minivan and Manuel Salvador Ibarra Plaza, pastor of the Pentecostal church that hired the transportation, for the offense of aggravated manslaughter, reported El Tiempo.
The hearing will be held in the city of Santa Marta.
The driver of the bus, 56-year-old Ospina was without a drivers license and had $250 in outstanding traffic fines. He reportedly surrendered to authorities after initially fleeing the scene of the tragedy.
While authorities are still investigating the cause of the fatal accident, one witness told French press agency AFP that the driver had walked away from the vehicle to buy a drink and asked the children to put gas in the vehicle, after which the bus caught fire.
The director of Legal Medicine, Carlos Eduardo Valdes confirmed that 22 forensic experts including anthropologists, dentists, doctors, and geneticists were currently involved in the identification of the 32 bodies.
Valdes said DNA tests will be conducted in Bogota and that the results may be found out within 10 days, due to the state in which the bodies were found.