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11 Killed in Argentina Bus Fire

August 13, 1999

ROSARIO, Argentina (AP) _ A fire engulfed a double-decker tour bus parked at a rest stop Thursday, killing 11 passengers and injuring six others, local police said.

Police Commissioner Reinaldo Andrada said the victims were passengers trapped on the upper level. Several travelers sustained injuries after escaping the blazing bus by leaping out of windows, he said.

Bus driver Ricardo Romero said most of the travelers were eating inside a roadside restaurant on the outskirts of Rosario, a city 180 miles northwest of Buenos Aires when the blaze erupted.

Romero said flames had already consumed the bus by the time he realized the bus was ablaze. ``We couldn’t do anything,″ he said.

Authorities said they believed the fire was accidental, but added that details on how the fire started were still murky.

``It’s a total disaster,″ said Horacio Serano, one of the owners of the Almirante Brown bus company.

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