At least 15 people, including 13 students and two teachers, have been killed after the bus they were travelling in crashed into a truck in eastern Thailand.

Police Lieutenant Colonel Anukarn Thammavijarn said the bus lost control on Friday morning on a downhill road and slammed into the truck, which was in front of it.

The bus was carrying students, aged 10 to 15, from their school in northeastern Nakhon Ratchasima city to the beachside town of Pattaya.

Police are searching for the bus driver who fled and are investigating if the crash was caused by a problem with the brakes.

Local media showed pictures of a row of bodies covered by sheets laid out by the side of the wreckage of the bus, whose top deck was crushed on one side.

Dangerous roads

Thailand's roads are among the most dangerous in the world.

A recent report by the World Health Organisation said the country saw some 38.1 road deaths per 100,000 people, behind only the Dominican Republic in the Caribbean and the South Pacific island of Niue.

That compares with an average of 18.5 in Southeast Asia as a whole.

Last year, road accidents left 8,600 people dead in Thailand.

Source: Agencies