Forty-two mostly elderly people died when a bus and a truck collided head-on and caught fire near Bordeaux, officials said, in France’s worst road crash in decades.
Another five people were injured in the collision on a country road near Puisseguin in the Gironde region about 60km (35 miles) east of Bordeaux, an official from the local prefect’s office said.
A spokesman for the interior ministry said that, as far as he could tell, all the passengers were French and from the region.
President Francois Hollande, speaking on a visit to Athens, said he had been “plunged into sadness by the tragedy”.
The bus was carrying about 50 day-trippers south to the Landes region from their home in the village of Petit Palais just a few kilometres away from the crash side, officials said.
Most of them were elderly, the member of parliament for the Gironde region, Gilles Savary, told BFM TV.