At least 42 people, mostly elderly, were killed when a bus collided with a truck and caught fire near Bordeaux in south-west France on Friday.

Five people were injured and three managed to escape unhurt in what is considered France's worst road accident since 1982. At least 52 people died in the 1982 bus crash. 

The accident took place around 7:30 am local time near Puisseguin village in the Gironde region of Bordeaux, the BBC reported. 

All the victims have so far been identified as French who belonged to the Gironde region. The driver of the truck is among the dead. 

"The French government has fully mobilised after this terrible tragedy," President Francois Hollande who is in Athens said, AFP reported.

The bus was taking 49 passengers, mostly pensioners, to Landes region on an excursion from their village Petit Palais, a few kilometres away from the accident site, Reuters reported.