BUENOS AIRES, Argentina – A bus carrying high school students back from a charity mission collided head-on with a truck on a rural highway in Argentina, leaving at least 12 dead and 30 others injured, authorities said Monday.
The accident occurred late Sunday as the students were returning to the capital from a trip to take donations to a rural school in an impoverished part of this American country.
The cause of the crash was not immediately clear.
Tearful students and anguished parents gathered at the high school in Buenos Aires early Monday as they awaited word on the victims and local television stations interrupted regular programming with reports on the collision.
Students said their classmates had organized a charity drive to take foodstuffs, school supplies and other donations to a rural school they had been helping in the impoverished Chaco area.
Initial reports said the majority of the dead were 17- and 18-year-old students, along with at least one of the drivers and his companion. The extent of the injuries were not immediate known.
Police said many of the victims had to be shuttled to hospitals in the provincial capital far from the accident site in Santa Fe province in northeastern Argentina.
The government of President Nestor Kirchner, meanwhile, was sending an air force transport plane to return the remains of the victims back to the capital.