At least 36 people have been killed and more than 84 injured after three buses and a truck collided on Peru's main coastal highway in the country's southwest.

Police chief General Jorge Flores said on Monday that the most seriously injured were transported on helicopter to Lima from the scene in Huarmey some 321km north of the capital.

Police say a bus owned by the company Murga Serrano strayed into the oncoming lane and slammed head-on into the first of the other two buses. The truck then plowed into the wreckage.

Survivors said it took emergency crews about three hours to reach the scene, according to local media reports. The government sent five medical specialists to Huarmey to help the small clinic there care for the injured.

It was Peru's deadliest road accident since October 2013, when 51 people were killed near Cuzco when an overloaded truck fell into a ravine.

Source: AP