Bus driver held after crash kills 31 kids

Colombian authorities have arrested the driver of a bus that crashed and killed 31 children, police said on Monday.

The youngsters burned to death yesterday after the bus caught fire and exploded in the north of the South American country as they returned from church services.

Another 25 people - including one adult - were injured and seriously burned in the blaze at the town of Fundacion, in the department of Magdalena, according to the Red Cross.

‘The driver has been arrested, he turned himself in to authorities and we expect him to explain himself at a hearing this morning,’ a local police spokesman told AFP.

The driver had initially fled the scene, and angry locals went to his home and threw rocks at his windows.

Investigators are looking into a number of potential causes of the crash, which prompted President Manuel Santos to travel to the scene and offer his condolences.

Among the possibilities being explored is that the driver used contraband gas to refuel the bus and that this may have led to the explosion.Other theories being explored is that mechanical failure is to blame.

Red Cross official Cesar Uruena said yesterday the injured - taken to area hospitals - suffered second and third-degree burns, and many were in critical condition.

The children aboard the bus were between the ages of one and eight and were returning home after a religious service, Fundacion Mayor Luz Stella Duran told reporters.

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