A TV still image shows a firefighter standing next to the car in which three relatives of Pope Francis were killed on a highway between Rosario and Cordoba, Argentina, Aug. 19. The pope asked people to join him in prayer after he learned that two of his little great-nephews and their mother had died in a car crash in Argentina and his nephew was in critical condition. (CNS photo/DyN-www.noticraik.com handout via Reuters)
A TV still image shows a firefighter standing next to the car in which three relatives of Pope Francis were killed on a highway between Rosario and Cordoba, Argentina, Aug. 19. The pope asked people to join him in prayer after he learned that two of his little great-nephews and their mother had died in a car crash in Argentina and his nephew was in critical condition. (CNS photo/DyN-www.noticraik.com handout via Reuters)

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis asked people to join him in prayer Aug. 19 after he learned that two of his little great nephews and their mother had died in a car crash in Argentina and his nephew was in critical condition.

The dead were identified as the wife and two young sons of Pope Francis' nephew, Emanuel Horacio Bergoglio: Valeria Carmona, 39, Antonio Bergoglio, 8 months, and Joseph Bergoglio, 2 years.

According to Argentine news reports, the 35-year-old son of the pope's late brother Alberto Bergoglio underwent emergency surgery and was on a respirator.

The crash occurred in the early morning hours on the highway between Rosario and Cordoba.