Mudslide collapses on bus in Colombia, 6 dead

AP News
Posted: Dec 08, 2011 4:37 PM
Mudslide collapses on bus in Colombia, 6 dead

A hillside loosened by heavy rains collapsed on a bus, killing five adults and a boy, Colombian officials said Thursday.

One of the victims managed to call for help by cellphone and told relatives she was trapped before she died, said Cesar Uruena, rescue director for the Colombian Red Cross.

The five other victims of the accident Wednesday night included a police officer and the bus driver and his young son, Uruena said.

At least four other people were slightly injured when the mudslide partially buried the bus about 200 miles (320 kilometers) northeast of the capital, Bogota.

Officials said heavy rains have flooded about 3,500 homes south of Bogota, with waters up to 5 feet (1.5 meters) deep in places. Some people refused to leave flooded homes, while others moved to higher ground carrying belongings while wading knee-deep through floodwaters.

Mayor Clara Lopez said the flooding was "10 times worse" than floods seen last year.

Rains in Colombia since Sept. 1 have caused at least 140 deaths, including those who died in the bus Wednesday night.