At least 19 people were killed and more than a dozen injured when a car and a packed church bus collided and plunged into a river in Indonesia's West Java province, officials said.

The bus was carrying passengers from a Jakarta church back to the capital on Wednesday after a visit to a hill resort when the accident happened at Cisarua in West Java province, local police spokesman Martinus Sitompul told AFP news agency.

He said, “We suspect the brakes malfunctioned but that's still being investigated,” adding, “Police were questioning the bus driver, who sustained light injuries”.

The area’s traffic police chief Muhammad Chaniago said the bus hit a small car and crashed through the wall of a roadside building before both vehicles fell about eight metres into the river in Cisarua.

Local television footage showed images of both vehicles upside-down in the water. It was not immediately clear whether the driver of the car survived.

Most of the dead were killed instantly, and those with injuries were rushed to two nearby hospitals, Chaniago said.

Road accidents are common in Indonesia due to poor safety standards and infrastructure, especially on densely populated Java Island.

Source: Agencies