40 killed when Indian bus catches fire; many victims burned alive

Police say 40 people have been killed — many of them burned alive — when a bus crashed into a barrier and caught fire in southern India.

A police official in Mehabubnagar says the crash happened just before sunrise Wednesday. The official, Pradeep, who goes by only one name, says the driver and five other people escaped.

The driver had been trying to pass another vehicle when the bus hit the roadside barrier.

Mehabubnagar is more than 800 miles (1,200 kilometers) from New Delhi.

India has the highest annual road death toll in the world, according to the World Health Organization. More than 110,000 people are killed every year in road accidents across India, according to police.

Most crashes are blamed on reckless driving, poorly maintained roads and aging vehicles.