At least four people were killed and 18 injured on Thursday in a road-traffic accident after an Army truck derailed and overturned near San Martín de los Andes in Patagonia.
"The Argentine Army reports the accident suffered by members of Mountain Exploration Cavalry Regiment 4, located in the town of San Martín de los Andes," Neuquén province, the Army said in a statement.
"During the withdrawal of personnel to the barracks (...), the vehicle in which they were being transported derailed while driving on the provincial road," it said.
"The community is informed of the death of four members of the group and 18 injured of varying degrees of severity," it added.
The truck was carrying about 20 soldiers who had been on mountain exercises, said local press reports.
The tragic accident occurred just after 2pm on Route 62 on the road to Lake Lolog, in the direction of San Martín de los Andes. For reasons that are still under investigation, the driver lost control of the vehicle and overshot a curve, resulting in it falling from a height of 10 to 12 metres.
Along with the four fatalities, nine of the 18 injured soldiers are in critical condition, the Army said.
Images of the truck showed it overturned with its wheels up, almost completely destroyed among tree branches and brush.
The Army said it is investigating the cause of the accident. One of the hypotheses being considered is that the army vehicle had a mechanical failure, possibly with its brakes.
Volunteer firefighters from San Martín de los Andes, SIEN personnel, a mountain rescue brigade, the Argentine Army, Civil Defence agents and Neuquén Police worked at the scene.