BEIJING - A 41 vehicle pile up on a fog-shrouded highway in eastern China on Friday left at least 12 people dead and 13 injured, state media reported.

The accident occurred on a 600m stretch of an expressway near Zhangshu city in Jiangxi province early on Friday morning in heavy fog, Xinhua news agency reported.

Most of the vehicles involved in the chain-reaction wreck were trucks, seven of which caught fire, the report said.

One lorry was carrying fireworks when the accident happened, but it was not immediately clear if the vehicle caught fire or exploded. More than 120 people were involved, including travellers on a bus, Xinhua said.

China's roads are among the most dangerous in the world, with traffic laws widely flouted.

Almost 70,000 people died in road accidents in 2009, or around 190 fatalities a day, according to police statistics.

12 dead in 41-vehicle pile