updated 1/31/2005 10:46:17 AM ET 2005-01-31T15:46:17

A large truck slammed into a packed school bus in western Austria on Monday, injuring the truck driver and at least 18 children, four of whom were critically hurt, Austrian television reported.

The Austria Press Agency quoted police as saying the private bus was carrying about 50 students at the time. Austrian state broadcaster ORF said at least 18 youngsters were hurt and that at least four had suffered serious injuries.

Helicopters and rescue personnel were called to the scene of the accident in Linz, about 120 miles west of Vienna.

Police said witnesses reported that the school bus had stopped to let passengers off when the truck struck it.

No further details were immediately available.

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