Two die in crash of bus carrying young altar servers
Two young altar servers of a parish near the Bangladeshi capital Dhaka died when the bus carrying them hit a tree, rolled over several times and landed in a couple metres of water.
69 of the altar servers aged 9-14 survived the crash on Friday, according to parish priest Fr David Gomes, who was on the bus.
The 46 girls and 25 boys of St Nicholas of Tolentino Church near Dhaka, were on their way to the capital to visit the zoo, the national independence monument and the major seminary.
Fr Gomes said on Sunday that the accident happened 15 minutes after the overcrowded bus left the parish church at 7:10 a.m.
As some children trapped in the bus stood on seats to breathe the air just under the roof, crying for help, assistant parish priest Fr Gomes broke a window to extract as many as possible from the wreckage.
Help also came from some a nearby Hindu village. About 20 villagers quickly jumped into the water, broke some windows and pulled children out. Some of the children were unconscious and had to be resuscitated.
Catholic Church in Bangladesh (catholic-hierarchy.org)
9 Jul 2003