Argentine police and fans lining up to see the coffin of soccer icon Diego Maradona clashed Thursday when authorities took steps to close access to the presidential palace of the Casa Rosada before the scheduled closure at 4 p.m. (1900 GMT) for public viewing.
Images on local television appeared to show tear gas canisters, with riot police and others on motorcycles trying to contain the crowd, desperate to pay their respects to Maradona, who died Wednesday at age 60.
Thousands of fans have been queuing for more than a mile through the streets of Buenos Aires since early Thursday morning to see the coffin, which lies in condition before a planned burial later that night.
“We were quietly queuing and suddenly the police started firing rubber bullets. Crazy, I just want to say goodbye to Diego, ”Rubén Hernández, 35, told Reuters.
Faced with tensions, Interior Minister Gustavo Russo said that the procession with the coffin would seek to travel the route where people waited, to allow people to say goodbye.