23 Oct 2015

Dozens killed after bus crashes in France

9:13 pm on 23 October 2015

At least 42 people have been killed in a collision between a lorry and a bus in south-west France, reports say.

The two vehicles were reported to have collided head-on near the town of Puisseguin, in the Gironde wine region, east of Bordeaux.

Sud Ouest newspaper said the bus was carrying elderly people who were setting off on holiday.

This was reportedly the worst French road disaster since one in Beaune in 1982 in which 52 people died.

According to the French news channel BFTV, the crash happened on a single carriageway road, and caused both vehicles to catch fire.

Only eight people managed to escape the blaze, five of whom were injured.

The channel said the bus was carrying pensioners who had just set off from the nearby town of Petit-Palais-et-Cornemps.

French President Francois Hollande has tweeted that the government "is fully mobilised on this terrible tragedy".

Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve is reportedly on his way to the crash scene.