A bus driver veered onto the wrong side of a road after a curve and crashed head-on into a smaller truck, killing 18 people on Saturday, police said.

Thirteen died at the scene and "five more died in the hospitals where they had been taken," said federal transport police officer Claudio Borborena. "At least 17 other bus passengers, some in serious condition, were still treated in three hospitals in Montes Claros," a city in Minas Gerais state, 530 miles (850 kilometers) from Rio de Janeiro, the officer said on the telephone.

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There were only scattered details regarding the crash and police could not immediately say how many passengers were in the bus. The truck's driver was alone and died on the spot, Borborena said.

The bus had left Brasilia, the capital, Friday evening and was heading to a town in Minas Gerais when the crash occurred at 5:30 a.m. (08:30 GMT), he said.