At least 19 children and their driver were killed in India today when a passenger train crashed into a school bus.

The accident happened at an unmanned level crossing near Masaipet village in Medak district.

Indian Railways spokesman Anil Kumar Saxena said the bus had not stopped to check if the way was clear.

Reports said the bus was dragged several hundred metres down the tracks.

Police said the bus was carrying 32 children, 12 of whom died at the scene.

Seven more died in a nearby hospital, where others are in critical condition.

The train was travelling from the city of Nanded in Maharashtra state to Hyderabad in newly formed neighbouring Telangana.

No one on the train was killed, officials said.

There have been a number of train accidents in India in recent years.

Last month, several coaches of a passenger train derailed in Bihar state, killing at least four people.

In May, at least 20 people were killed when a passenger train derailed and hit a stationary goods train in Uttar Pradesh state.