Updated 11:10 PM ET
(AP) BEIJING - A double-decker sleeper bus collided with a tanker on a northern Chinese highway early Sunday, causing both vehicles to burst into flames and killing 36 people, state media said.
The tanker was transporting methanol and collided with the bus at around 2 a.m. on a highway near the city of Yan'an in Shaanxi province, the official Xinhua News Agency said.
An official with the local Communist Party propaganda bureau in Yan'an confirmed that the crash occurred but was unable to give details and was unsure of the death toll.
Xinhua said 39 people were on board the two vehicles when the crash occurred and only three people survived. They were taken to hospital with injuries, it said.
Road safety is a serious problem in China. According to Xinhua, poorly maintained roads and bad driving habits result in about 70,000 deaths and 300,000 injuries a year.