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23/10/2015 15:42 BST | Updated 23/10/2015 15:59 BST

France Bus Crash Images Portray Horror Of Inferno Which Claimed 43 Lives

The charred remains of a bus almost entirely destroyed in a horror crash in France portrays the horror of the collision which claimed dozens of lives, including a three-year-old boy.

French authorities say the death toll from the incident in the south-west town of Puisseguin has risen to 43 after the body of the child was discovered in the wreckage.

One harrowing image shows the crumbling remains of the bus with its metal frame charred almost beyond recognition.

Aerial images of the scene show the sharp bend in the road where both vehicles collided.

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Helicopter footage shows the site of the crash in more detail

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Eight people, including the driver, escaped from the bus

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls told reporters near the crash site that eight people survived the accident, including four who were injured and in serious condition.

French media reported that the bus driver was among those who escaped, and the truck driver was killed.

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A firefighter conforts a woman near the site of the crash

Valls said: "Forty-two people were killed in atrocious conditions in this bus in flames after this very violent frontal collision." He says the passengers were "elderly people who were going on an excursion for one day. They should have returned home tonight."

He added: "It's a terrible shock for the area, for (the region) Aquitaine, for France."

Both vehicles caught fire after the crash occurred at 7.30 am local time (6.30 am GMT) on Friday and the high number of deaths has been attributed to the fire by officials.

The mayor of Puisseguin Xavier Sublett said on i-Tele television that the driver of the bus managed to open the door, allowing eight people to escape.

He said helicopters evacuated severely burned victims.

The incident is believed to be the worst road accident in the country for 30 years.

French President François Hollande said it was an "immense tragedy," and promised an investigation into what happened.

He also expressed "the solidarity of the whole nation" with loved ones of the victims.

France Bus Crash Leaves At Least 42 Dead