41 killed in China as double-decker bus catches fire

Beijing: At least 41 people were killed and six others injured when an overloaded double-decker bus burst into flames in a central Chinese province early on Friday, in one of the worst road accidents in years.

A total of 47 people were on board when the 35-seat bus caught fire on the Beijing-Zhuhai Expressway at Xinyang City in Henan Province in the early hours.

The cause of the blaze is still being investigated, said Zhang Guohui, head of the Henan Provincial Work Safety Administration.

Among the six injured, one person was in critical condition in Zhumadian No 59 hospital in Zhumadian City, while the other five, including the bus driver, were being treated in a hospital in Xinyang, Xinyang municipal police said.

The double-decker sleeper bus was on its way from the city of Weihai in eastern Shandong Province to central Hunan`s provincial capital Changsha.

The body remains were burned beyond recognition and the deceased will have to be identified by DNA testing, police said.