At least six people died and 18 were injured in a giant pileup of 25 vehicles in China's southern province of Canton, the Xinhua state news agency said Saturday.

The accident occurred around 9:00 a.m. in the southern city of Anshun on the Hukun Expressway, which runs between the cities of Shanghai and Kunming.

Of the 25 vehicles involved in the accident, seven exploded into flames.

Firefighters, police and doctors rushed to the scene of the accident, and at present seven of the 18 injured are in critical condition at a local hospital, a police official cited by Xinhua said, adding that the cause of the accident is under investigation.

China is the country with the most traffic accidents in the world, which each year leave some 70,000 dead and 300,000 injured in the Asian nation, according to Public Safety Ministry statistics. EFE