A passenger bus collided with a beer delivery truck and burst into flames Tuesday in southern Sri Lanka, killing at least 23 people and injuring 56, a police official said.

The state-run bus was traveling from the southern city of Galle to the capital, Colombo, when it collided with the beer truck traveling in the opposite direction, local police chief Jayantha Gamage said. No foreign tourists were among the victims.

"The collision started a fire and most of the bodies are charred beyond recognition," Gamage said.

Twenty people died at the scene and three died later at a hospital. The dead included eight women and a 5-year-old child, Gamage said. Both drivers were killed.

A total of 56 people were injured and were receiving treatment, Gamage said.

A passenger on the bus blamed the truck driver for the accident.

"The bus was moving slowly when the speeding truck crashed into the middle of the bus," said Sisira Ranasinghe, who suffered a shoulder injury. "The bus driver attempted to prevent the accident ... but it was of no use."

Bodies retrieved from the burned-out wreckage were wrapped in plastic sheets along the roadside near Induruwa town, about 40 miles south of Colombo.