Seven people were killed and two others badly injured Wednesday when a freight train slammed into a bus full of children in the central Argentine province of San Luis.

Five of the dead were minors, authorities said.

The collision, which took place at a level crossing in the small town of Zanjitas, involved a bus carrying 40 children and several clergy to a spiritual retreat in the western province of Mendoza.

The train dragged the bus some 200 meters (yards), Zanjitas Mayor Jorge Antunez told radio stations in Buenos Aires, adding that the injured were taken to hospitals in San Luis city, the provincial capital.

Antunez said the death toll could grow.

Eleven people died in September in a similar accident in the Argentine capital. In that case, a commuter train struck a bus whose driver tried to cross the tracks even though the barriers were in the down position.