Police in India say at least 40 people have been killed, many of them burned alive, when a bus crashed into a barrier and caught fire.

A police official in Mehabubnagar said the crash happened just before sunrise.

The official, Pradeep, who goes by only one name, said the driver and five other people escaped.

The driver had been trying to pass another vehicle when the bus hit the roadside barrier.

Mehabubnagar is more than 1,200km from New Delhi.

India has the highest annual road death toll in the world, according to the World Health Organization.

More than 110,000 people are killed every year in road accidents across India, according to police.

Most crashes are blamed on reckless driving, poorly maintained roads and ageing vehicles.