At least 35 people, most of them students, have been killed in a collision between a car and a bus on a highway in northern China, state TV says.

The bus overturned as it hit the back of a car at around 4:00pm local time (08:00 GMT) on Friday on the expressway in Tianjin city, near Beijing, state news agency Xinhua reported on Saturday.

Traffic resumed on the expressway after the road was closed for 16 hours following the crash, the agency said.

The bus had been speeding and many of its passengers were thrown from the bus as it rolled over, a local traffic management official told Xinhua.

Over capacity

A further 19 people who were injured have been taken to hospital and the driver of the bus is in a coma, Xinhua said, quoting the local police.

The bus had a maximum capacity of 53 people but was carrying 55 at the time of accident, Xinhua said.

Most of the passengers were students on their way back to Hebei's Tangshan College after a seven-day national holiday.

At least 56 people were killed in three major road accidents, including the Tianjin smash, during the one-week holiday break which ended on Friday, according to media reports.

Road accidents in China killed at least 65,000 people last year, and injured 254,000, according to official figures.

Source: Agencies