"By the grace of God, 21 people escaped from the bus after the accident, seven were injured, three were sent to Muzaffargarh hospital and four to Multan."

He said most of the deaths occurred as passengers were sleeping when the bus caught fire.

Fatal road accidents are common in Pakistan, where disregard for traffic rules is widespread.

Muzaffargarh lies about 75km northwest of Multan, which is the main city in the country's eastern Punjab province.