updated 12/9/2007 12:27:09 AM ET 2007-12-09T05:27:09

A Peace Corps volunteer was killed in Suriname when she accidentally set off a gun rigged as an animal trap, police said.

The woman, identified as 25-year-old Blythe Ann O'Sullivan, was shot in the leg Thursday and apparently bled to death before she could get medical treatment, police spokesman John Jones said Saturday.

O'Sullivan, a native of Bloomingdale, Ill., joined the Peace Corps in August 2006, the corps said in a statement on its Web site. She worked on a water project and with women's organizations to fund and develop a village community center, the corps said.

"Blythe's death is a tremendous loss for her loved ones, family, the Peace Corps, and the people of Suriname," Peace Corps director Ron Tschetter said in the agency's statement.

Jones said the victim was volunteering in the woods of a rural northern village inhabited by Maroons, descendants of runaway African slaves.

Gun traps are illegal in Suriname, but many Maroons and Amerindians still use them to hunt for food. Jones said the owner of the trap could face prosecution even if the death is ruled accidental.

More than 260 Peace Corps volunteers have died while serving for the overseas service program since it was launched in 1961, according to the Fallen Peace Corps Volunteers Memorial Project.

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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