Women and children are among those who were killed in the collision [EPA]

A bus has collided with an oil tanker in southern Pakistan, setting off a blaze that killed at least 32 people and injured nine others, police said.

Mohammad Farooq, a local police chief said the accident occurred before dawn on Sunday when the bus driver reportedly fell asleep and lost control of the vehicle.

Farooq said the dead included women and children.

The injured were taken to nearby Jamshoro hospital, local media reported.

According to local television reports, the bus was on its way from Karachi to Sukkur when it hit an oil tanker along a highway near Hyderabad.

Accidents common

Both vehicles caught fire very quickly, and one of the survivors told local media that only a few young men were able to crawl out of the back of the bus and save themselves.

Rescue officials said that all the bodies were later removed from the bus and taken to hospital, although most were burnt beyond recognition. Many of the injured are being treated for burns.

Survivors told authorities that passengers twice asked the driver to stop the vehicle and rest to avoid an accident.

Bus accidents are a common occurrence in Pakistan mainly due to dilapidated roads and exhausted drivers.

Source: Agencies