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China's top work safety watchdog said on Sunday that a task force has been dispatched to investigate a bus-truck collision in north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region and punish those responsible.

A bus and a truck collided Saturday evening in Yakeshi City, administered by Hulunbuir City, killing 12 people and injuring 25 others, according to local authorities.

The truck was trying to avoid a horse that dashed onto the road when the collision happened, according to a statement issued by the government of Hulunbuir.

The State Administration of Work Safety urged local authorities to severely penalize those responsible for the accident and to prevent similar incidents from happening again.

It also requested full efforts in treating the wounded as well as timely disclosure of the progress of the investigation and tightened supervision of road traffic safety.