Argentina bus crash leaves 43 border patrol officers dead

BUENOS AIRES: A bus carrying Argentine border patrol officers blew a tire and tumbled from a bridge into a dry river bed in the northern province of Salta on Monday, killing 43 and injuring eight, authorities said.

The vehicle was part of a three-bus convoy carrying officers of Argentina's gendarmerie, which patrols the country's borders. Salta borders Bolivia, Chile and Paraguay.

"It appears that one of the tires of the bus blew out, unfortunately just a few meters ahead of the bridge. It went over the guardrail," Argentine security chief Patricia Bullrich told reporters.

President Mauricio Macri, elected last month on a platform that included improving Argentina's rural roads, sent his condolences to families of the victims of the crash and declared a national day of mourning.

"We need to improve our highways so these things don't keep happening," he told reporters on the sidelines of a news conference in Buenos Aires province.