Surendra Srivastava said at least 24 other passengers were injured in the pre-dawn crash Monday near Amroha town in Uttar Pradesh state. Police are searching for the driver, who fled from the scene.
About 60 people were on the bus. Most were returning from a religious ceremony in the Hindu holy town of Haridwar.
The injured were in a nearby hospital where doctors said the condition of seven of them was serious, Srivastava said.
India has the world's deadliest roads, with more than 110,000 people killed every year. Most crashes are blamed on reckless driving, poorly maintained roads and aging vehicles.