At least 18 children were killed along with their driver when a school bus was hit by a train in the Indian state of Telangana, police said.
The passenger train rammed into the school bus, dragging it several hundred metres down the track, reports said.
Nineteen other students who were travelling on the bus were injured. No one on the train was hurt.
The accident happened at an unmanned level crossing near Masaipet village in Medak district.
There are nearly 15,000 unmanned crossings on Indian railways and correspondents say hundreds of people are killed on these crossings every year.
After Thursday’s crash, local villagers rushed to help rescue some of the children who were trapped in the vehicle before the emergency services reached the scene.
An investigation has been ordered into the accident.
Safety standards on India’s massive state-run railway network, which operates 9,000 passenger trains and carries some 23 million passengers every day, has been an ongoing concern especially after a spate of recent accidents.
Last month, several coaches of a passenger train derailed in Bihar state, killing at least four people and injuring 10 others.
And in May at least 20 people were killed when a passenger train derailed and hit a stationary goods train in Uttar Pradesh state.