LA PAZ, Bolivia ( Associated Press) — Four university students were killed Monday and more than 60 students were injured in a stampede when a tear gas grenade detonated during a student assembly at the public university in Potosí in southern Bolivia, police said. and the rector of the house of studies.
“Many students have been trampled. It is unfortunate what has happened,” Pedro López, rector of the Tomás Frías University, told Pan-American radio in a preliminary report.
The incident occurred at the university located 420 kilometers south of La Paz. Hours later, the university authorities declared mourning for 30 days and three days of suspension of activities.
The police chief in Potosí, Colonel Limberth Choque, told state television Bolivia TV that the four deceased are women between 22 and 31 years old. The police evacuated the site of the tragedy.
In the afternoon the police apprehended two students suspected of having detonated the grenade, reported Colonel Nelson Pacheco, director of the Special Force to Fight Crime (FELCN). “The police are continuing their investigations,” he added.
Most of the injured students were taken to the university insurance hospital.
“It was an inconceivable tragedy,” López said.
Witnesses told local media that it is not known for sure if the gas grenade was detonated inside the compound or launched from outside.
President Luis Arce expressed his regret “for the loss of life and dozens of injuries in the serious incident that caused a human avalanche during a student assembly… Our condolences to the families and the people of Potosí who are in mourning,” he wrote in his Twitter account