Beijing: At least 20 people, including 18 pre-school children, were killed and 45 others injured on Wednesday when their overloaded school bus collided with a truck in China's northwestern Gansu province.

The accident took place this morning at Yulinzi township of Zhengning County of the Qingyang city, the provincial work safety bureau said in a statement.

Those injured in the accident have been hospitalized. Thirteen of the injured were in serious condition.

The bureau has blamed overloading for the accident, stating that the bus - a van with nine seats - was carrying 64 people.

The truck from neighbouring Shaanxi Province and was carrying coal. Nearly 70,000 deaths were reported in China last year due to road accidents, according to officials.

(Agencies)