At least 30 died early Sunday when a packed bus came off the road and burst into flames near Kinshasa, the DR Congo capital, a local official said.

‘The current toll is 30 dead, 18 others have third-degree burns,’ Red Cross spokesman David Nsiala told AFP.

‘We are continuing the work of identifying the bodies,’ added Nsiala, who runs the Red Cross in Mbanzea-Ngungu territory southwest of Kinshasa.

The bus, laden with people and goods, was travelling from Lufu to Kinshasa when its brakes failed, Didier Nsimba, deputy administrator of Mbanza-Ngungu territory told AFP.

The accident happened about one o'clock in the morning, he added.

An injured passenger who gave her name as Nacha said more than 100 people had been in the vehicle at the time. Many bodies were burned beyond recognition, she added.

Mbanza-Ngungu is located about 150 kilometres (90 miles) from Kinshasa on Highway 1, a road with a notorious reputation for deadly accidents.

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