Relatives react to news of the collision between a train and a bus, in the Medak district of southern India. Picture: Mahesh Kumar

New Delhi - A train slammed into a school bus in southern India on Thursday, killing at least 12 children and the bus driver and injuring more than a dozen, police said.

The bus crossed the track at an unmanned crossing in Telangana state without stopping to check if the way was clear, said Indian Railways spokesman Anil Kumar Saxena.

Police said the bus was carrying 32 children.

Road and rail accidents are common in India due to poor planning and infrastructure and weak law enforcement amid a surge in trucks and cars and a flood of unlicensed drivers.

More than 230 000 people were killed on Indian roads in 2010. - Reuters