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Train, bus filled with schoolgirls crash in Argentina

By the CNN Wire Staff
updated 4:20 PM EDT, Wed November 2, 2011
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: Dozens of schoolgirls were on their way to a spiritual retreat
  • NEW: A preliminary investigation indicates the bus did not stop for the oncoming train
  • Some mothers and teachers were onboard, police tell Telam
  • The freight train was carrying coal, state media reports

Buenos Aires (CNN) -- At least seven people were killed -- including five children -- when a freight train collided with a bus carrying schoolgirls on their way to a spiritual retreat in Argentina, state media reported Wednesday.

An unknown number of others were injured in the crash in the central Argentinian town of Zanjitas, in San Luis Province, the state-run Telam news agency said.

The bus was carrying 41 fifth-grade girls from a religious school, the agency said, citing police. Some mothers of the students and teachers were also onboard.

Two of the dead were adults, and five were girls, the police told Telam.

The freight train was carrying coal from Mendoza to Buenos Aires, Telam reported.

A preliminary investigation and witness accounts indicated the bus did not stop for the oncoming train, according to Telam.

The train smashed into the middle of the bus, Telam said, pushing it about 200 meters (218 yards) down the tracks.

A photo on the news agency's website showed a badly damaged bus flipped over on its side, perpendicular to the tracks.

Investigators were still trying to identify victims at the crash site, the state news agency reported.

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