A school bus carrying Hungarian children returning from a trip to France has crashed in northern Italy, killing at least 16 people.
The vehicle, which was carrying teenage students, teachers and parents, slammed into a highway barrier, then burst into flames near Verona.
Emergency services said 39 people were injured, some seriously and the number of victims could rise to 18.
“Many children among the victims of the accident in Verona, a bus catches fire on impact with a pillar,” national police said on Twitter.
Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto told a news conference that the teenagers were from a Budapest secondary school, returning from their annual ski camp in France.
A teacher, who suffered severe burns, reportedly returned to the bus several times to save other passengers.
Six adults are seriously injured and are being treated in two different hospitals in Verona, Hungarian national TV M1 reported.
— Polizia di Stato (@poliziadistato) January 21, 2017
There were no other vehicles involved in the crash and it is not yet known why the bus, which was on its way to Budapest, left the road.
Reports have suggested the impact of the crash was so strong that some passengers were thrown out of the bus.
The Hungarian foreign ministry said there were at least 54 passengers on board, including two drivers.
The government has declared Monday a day of national mourning and hundreds paid their respects and gathered outside the secondary school in city center.