A crash involving two police buses and a truck left at least 12 people dead and 48 injured in Argentina's province of Chubut.
According to Agence France-Presse, the victims include nine police officers and the three drivers. Police were heading to Chubut to help subdue a strike of around 400 workers at Pan American Energy, co-owned by British, Chinese and Argentine companies, where acts of vandalism had been reported.
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"These are people who gave their lives doing their job," provincial governor of Chubut Martin Buzzi told AFP.
The Buenos Aires Herald reported that the impact of the crash killed the driver of the truck, which was heading south with a load of cereal bundles, instantly. Those injured were taken to Puerto Madryn's Isola Hospital and other local hospitals to be treated.
Argentina President Cristina Kirchner announced a national period of mourning for the victims of the accident, according to AAP.
"Many of these officers don't make a third or a fourth as much as the people who are occupying (the plant) and committing acts of vandalism," she said.
AAP also reported that Chubut is home to one of the most important oil reserves in the province, as it produces around 40 percent of Argentina's gasoline.