A bus fell off a bridge and into a river south of the capital of Santiago early Wednesday, killing 24 people — including two children — and injuring 26, authorities reported.

Police said 12 of the injured passengers were in serious condition and were taken to hospitals in the nearby cities of Rancagua and San Fernando.

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The bus fell into the Tinguiririca River, 85 miles south of Santiago, at around 2 a.m. local time, police Col. Raul Retamal said.

Retamal said the cause of the accident was being investigated. He said the weather in the area was good and the vehicle was in good condition.

The victims were rescued by firefighters aided by soldiers from a regiment in the area, regional Gov. Hector Leiva said.

The vehicle was headed for Talcahuano, a port city 350 miles south of Santiago, police said.