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Residents riot after teens killed; officials resign

  • Teens motorcycle collided with municipal truck, killing the two 16-year-olds
  • Two occupants of truck arrested
  • Authorities trying to determine whether incident was traffic stop or accident
  • Argentina
  • Riots
  • Civil Unrest

Buenos Aires, Argentina (CNN) -- Two officials in a small Argentinean town resigned and a third was relieved of his duties Monday after a fatal traffic accident led a mob to burn down city hall and other government buildings, authorities said.

The accident Sunday morning took the lives of two teenagers who were riding on a motorcycle that collided with a traffic authority truck.

The two city of Baradero employees who were in the truck were arrested on homicide charges after the crash, the government-funded Telam news agency said. They were not among the three who resigned or stepped aside. Officials are investigating whether the truck was chasing the two youths to give them a traffic citation or if the incident was a routine traffic accident.

"They destroyed the whole family," said Roxana Gimenez, mother of one of the dead youths, 16-year-old Giuliana Gimenez.

"Giuliana was everything to me," her mother said. "They broke my heart."

A mob of around 2,000 family, friends and neighbors of the two dead young people started a protest Sunday that ended up with rock-throwing and the buildings being burned.

City offices were destroyed, said the deputy fire chief, Pablo Alvarez.

On Monday, Baradero's police chief, Oscar Gomez, submitted his resignation, which was accepted, as did Baradero Inspector General Pablo Scarfoni, said city official Nestor Prado. Scarfoni was in charge of all the city's transit inspectors, including the two involved in Sunday's fatal accident.

In addition, local official Raul Franzoia was relieved of his duties provisionally while the matter is investigated, Prado said.

According to police, Gimenez was the passenger on the motorcycle and died instantly after being thrown to the pavement. The driver, Miguel Portugal, also 16, died at the Hospital de Baradero shortly after the 6:30 a.m. accident, officials said.

Sunday's demonstrations were quelled by early afternoon, Prado said. The mob reached about 2,000 people at its height, he added.

None of the rioters was arrested, though five or six people were injured by the rock-throwing, Telam said.

CNN's Guillermo Fontana contributed to this report.