A British coach driver has died after a crash in the French Alps left 29 passengers needing hospital treatment.

The bus was ferrying staff back to Britain following the end of the ski season when it veered off the road near Alpe d'Huez and burst into flames.

Investigations into the crash are ongoing, but early suggestions indicate the vehicle may have had problems with the brakes.

Twenty three passengers were unharmed, many of which escaped the burning wreckage by jumping from the windows.

UK travel organisation Abta said the Britons were staff who were on their way home having been working for a Brighton-based ski company at Alpe d'Huez and other resorts. At least four people were said to have been seriously injured, with those hurt being treated in local hospitals.

A helicopter was scrambled to the scene where firefighters battled to put out the flames.

A local police spokesman said: "There was apparently a problem with the coach's brakes. The driver seems to have lost control on a steep bend in the road and his vehicle crashed into rocks. It burst into flames but everyone is now out. Some passengers escaped by jumping out the windows."

A Skibound spokesman said: "Twenty nine passengers have been taken to hospitals in the area, four of which are being treated for more serious injuries. The further 23 passengers have escaped injury and are now with police and councillors in a local hotel."

He added: "Our thoughts are with those who have been involved in the accident and their relatives. The names of any injured parties will not be released until all next of kin have been notified."

A Foreign Office spokesman said: "We are aware of the tragic incident involving British nationals in the Isere region of southern France. We are in touch with the local authorities and are providing consular assistance."

https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/foreign-commonwealth-office(Foreign Office)