This photo shows the debris of a bus hit by a truck, at Tirupur in Tamil Nadu state on Thursday. AP
The accident occurred near Avanashi, a town in Tamil Nadu state, the Press Trust of India news agency said.
The state-run bus was on its way to Thiruvananthapuram, the capital of Kerala state, from Bangalore in Karnataka state.
Twelve victims who were travelling on the ill-fated state-owned luxury have been identified, said a Kerala police official.
Two Kerala ministers - State Transport Minister A.K. Saseendran and Agriculture Minister V.S. Sunil Kumar will be coordinating for relief operations from the accident site.
"In all, 20 persons are reported to be dead when a container lorry loaded with tiles collided with the luxury bus that was coming from Bengaluru to Kochi. Twelve bodies of people from Kerala including two women have been identified and the autopsies would be conducted and then the bodies would be handed over to the relatives," said Palakkad SP Shiv Vikram, who reached the spot.
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan termed the accident as shocking and said two of his ministers are on their way to accident site.
"The chief secretaries of the two states are now coordinating everything and if need be even a medical team will be sent," said Vijayan.
State Health Minister K.K. Shailaja said 20 ambulances have been despatched to the accident site and the entire expenses will be borne by the state.
Karishma, a passenger on the bus, said she is yet to recover from the shock.
"The entire right side of the bus has been completely damaged and the maximum casualties are from the right side. I was seated on the left side of the bus," said Karishma, who escaped unhurt.
In all, 46 persons were on board the bus and the dead include both driver and conductor of the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation bus.Agencies
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