Canberra Media Adviser Killed in Bus Accident in Bolivia

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By Sounak Mukhopadhyay | September 1, 2014 9:46 AM EST

Aussie tourist Kurt Steel was killed in a bus accident in the South American country, Bolivia. One more Australian as well as 24 other passengers were injured in the accident as well. The injured people were from various countries such as Italy, Canada, Chile, Peru, Switzerland and Germany. The bus that was full of foreign tourists crashed in the south-west part of the country on Saturday, Aug. 30. According to Bolivian authorities, the tourists were coming back after visiting world's largest salt flat, Salar de Uyuni. The driver of the bus was also killed in the accident.

REUTERS/Agencia Andina/Handout
People inspect a bus after an accident at Peru's Andean province of Junin August 8, 2014. At least 21 people died when the bus lost track and overturned as it travelled along Peru's Central highway, according to local media.

The 25-year-old Canberra man was an ACT government media adviser. His family issued an official statement on his death where it expressed that his friends and family were "devastated by the news." "We thank everyone for their messages of support, and Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade for their assistance during this difficult time. Our thoughts are also with other families with relatives involved," the statement read, "We love you Kurt and we'll miss you forever. You were so happy and full of life every moment we spent with you."

There were several posts on social media that mourned Steel's death. The University of Canberra Vice-Chancellor, Stephen Parker tweeted that he was "greatly saddened by the tragic and early loss of" Steel. Parker called him "a great UC Student." He wrote that Steel had been "a pleasure to work with then and after." Steel was an active member of the student association at the university when he was a student there. Before studying at the university, Steel studied in Canberra College and Melrose High School.

Steel worked for Steve Whan, the Labour politician from New South Wales. Later he started working for Andrew Barr, the ACT Treasurer and deputy Chief Minister. Barr, along with Chief Minister Katy Gallagher, said that Steel would be "impossible to replace." "Our thoughts are with his family and also with those who have been affected by this tragic accident," they said, "He was a natural leader who always had a smile on his face and took a positive approach towards work and life."


Contact the writer: s.mukhopadhyay@IBTimes.com.au

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(Photo: REUTERS/Agencia Andina/Handout / )
People inspect a bus after an accident at Peru's Andean province of Junin August 8, 2014. At least 21 people died when the bus lost track and overturned as it travelled along Peru's Central highway, according to local media.
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