At least 25 people died Tuesay when the van in which they were riding collided with a truck near the eastern town of Bahawalpur, a Pakistani police officer told Efe.

"The accident occurred shortly before midday on a stretch of highway just 3 or 4 kilometers (1.8-2.4 miles) from Bahawalpur," said Jamil Shohan, a local police officer, adding that a number of other people were injured in the crash.

According to Geo television, the passenger van in which the people were riding crashed into a truck that was driving in the opposite direction and images taken at the scene showed that the van was largely destroyed.

According to the daily Express Tribune, women and children are among the dead and authorities expect the number of fatalities to rise, since several of the injured are in critical condition.

Pakistan has one of the world's highest incidence of traffic accidents due to the awful condition of the country's roads, the poor maintenance given to vehicles and to the fact that public transport vehicles regularly circulate with excessive numbers of passengers on board.

Two weeks ago about 10 people died in a bus crash in the southern part of the country apparently after the driver fell asleep at the wheel. EFE