More than 20 killed and at least 19 hurt in Ecuador bus crash at 'dead man's curve'

More than 20 people have been killed in a bus crash in Ecuador.

At least 23 people have died and another 19 were injured when a bus collided with another vehicle at high speed and overturned on a highway near Ecuador’s capital.

The Colombian-registered bus was travelling to Quito when it hit a smaller vehicle in an area known as 'dead man’s curve' at about 3am local time, Ecuadorean authorities said.

Quito district security secretary Juan Zapata told Colombia’s Blu Radio that Colombian and Venezuelan nationals were among the dead.

Two minors travelling in the smaller vehicle were also killed.

A small fleet of ambulances and emergency workers rushed to the crash site about two hours from Quito before dawn.

They found the severely wrecked bus overturned and several homes adjacent to the highway damaged and strewn with metal debris.

People embrace as they wait for news outside the morgue. Credit: AP

The bus was also loaded with football fans who were heading back to their home city of Quayaquil following a draw against a team from nearby Cuenca.

Police said they were investigating to determine what happened, but some witnesses told local media the bus was seen trying to overtake other vehicles shortly before the crash.