An overloaded double-decker bus burst into flames on a highway in central China early Friday, killing 41 people on board and injuring six, state media said.
The official Xinhua News Agency said the six passengers who managed to escape the blaze in Henan province's Xinyang city were all hospitalized, with one in critical condition. It said the sleeper coach had a 35-passenger limit but was carrying 47 people.
Officials said they would have to use DNA tests to identify the bodies because they were so badly burned, Xinhua reported.
It said it was unclear what caused the blaze and an investigation was under way.
The Xinhua story included news photos that showed the charred bus frame stopped in a median between two highway lanes. The bunk beds were burnt down to their metal frames.
Serious traffic accidents are common in China due to lax driving habits, overloaded vehicles and bad road conditions. Earlier this month, 23 people died when a speeding truck rammed into a tourist bus that was illegally stopped along a highway in central China's Hubei province.