At least 43 people, most of them pensioners on a hiking trip, have been killed after the bus they were travelling in collided with a truck.
The accident happened in the town of Puisseguin in south-west France, east of Bordeaux.
The crash occured at around 7.30 am local time on a dangerous stretch of road, according local residents.
Both vehicles burst into flames on impact.
Authorities say it was the intensity of the fires that caused so many fatalities.
The driver of the bus managed to open the doors allowing eight people to scramble to safety.
Those injured are undergoing treatment for burns and head injuries.
French President Francois Hollande,on a visit to Greece, expressed his solidarity with the victims families and Prime Minister Manuel Valls headed to the scene of the tragedy: “It’s a shock a terrible shock for the region, for the Gironde. It’s a terrible shock for the whole of France. Today France and the French are in mourning,” he said.
Authorities are still waiting to identify those who perished in the crash.
An inquiry is underway into the cause of the accident.