At least 42 died early Friday morning in France when a bus and a truck collided head-on erupting in flames in the country's worst road accident in over 30, local officials reported.
Five more people have been listed in critical condition after being rushed to nearby hospitals, an official from Bordeaux's prefect's office said, according to Reuters.
The collision occurred on a country road close to Puisseguin in the region of Gironde, 35 miles east of Bordeaux.
A spokesman for the interior ministry said that, as far as he could tell, all the passengers were mostly French, elderly and from the region.
President Francois Hollande – on visit to Athens, Greece – said he had been "plunged into sadness by the tragedy".
The bus was carrying about 50 day-trippers to the Landes region from the village of Petit Palais, just a few miles from the crash site, officials said.
Highway fatalities in France have dropped significantly since the 1970s.
Official statistics show more than 16,000 people were dying every year in the early 1970s in road accidents, while the death toll has fallen below 4,000 in recent years.