Eleven people died and at least 15 were injured in a traffic accident in southern Chile when a small bus collided with a truck towing a trailer, the governor of Arauco province, Flor Weisse, confirmed to local media.

The two vehicles were traveling in opposite directions along the P-70 highway that connects the towns of Cañete and Tirua in Arauco province, which is in the Biobio region, some 700 kilometers (434 miles) south of Santiago.

The crash occurred when the trailer detached from the truck, shifted into the oncoming lane and hit the bus - which was transporting local residents - from the side.

"At the time of the crash it was raining very hard. The trailer of the lumber truck became unhitched and hit the taxibus, causing the tragedy that has shocked and deeply upset us," Cañete Mayor Jorge Radonich told the digital edition of El Mercurio.

The governor told Television Nacional that two children were among the victims.

Most of the injured were taken to the nearby Cañete Hospital. EFE