Five adults and four children, the youngest a 3-year-old boy, died when their team bus carrying a youth basketball team overturned as they traveled to play a game in the Colombian municipality of Yotoco on Sunday.
Police indicated that the mechanical failure appeared to lead the bus, which was carrying the Calima El Darién team, overturning on a highway early Sunday morning local time.
The local Ministry of Health indicated that nine people lost their lives in the incident, including eight people associated with the basketball team as well as the bus driver.
An additional 15 people who were injured were transported to a medical facility in nearby Buga for treatment for injuries including traumas in the thorax, abdomen and skull. The team were traveling to Yotoco to play their final game of the season.
“They traveled with their parents, who were very proud of having sports children, they are working parents who take time to accompany them in activities that take place outside the municipality,” Mayor of Calima-Darién, Hector Fabio Zapata, said via translation.
“Very painful what has happened and that we mourn not only the community of Darién, but all Valle del Cauca.”
Governor Dilian Fransisca Toro echoed these comments, saying: “The authorities will now investigate what are the reasons why the vehicle was damaged and why this disaster was generated.
“We are doing everything possible with Medica Legal to quickly deliver the bodies. We feel a lot of pain, we have children, we feel in the soul that a tragedy like this has happened.”