Bronkhorstspruit Minibus Crash– In a fatal road accident on Friday, South Africa reports the tragic death of 20 school children near the country’s capital, Pretoria,
The bus conveying the children had collided with a truck on the single carriageway R25, between Verena in Mpumalanga and Bronkhorstspruit in Gauteng.
A Picture of the accident scene shows the horrific crash with the bus lying on its side, completely burnt.
Mpumalanga police spokesman Gerald Sedibe said the bus was coming from Mahlenga High.
“The (minibus) was transporting learners from school and it collided with the truck and caught fire,”
Disheartened by the tragic event, Gauteng Education department represented by Panyaza Lesufi, believes the collision was as a result of over-speeding.
“It is believed the driver of the minibus underestimated the speed of the truck and collided with him whilst turning,”
As confirmed by police report the Bronkhorstspruit minibus crash also claimed the life of the bus driver while the truck driver survived.
The spokesman for S.A’s emergency medical service, ER24, Russel Meiring confirmed the number of dead children.
“It is confirmed 20 children have been killed,”
According to ER24, when they arrived, the members of the Bronkhorstspruit community had succeeded in pulling out 7 children from the bus before the bus burnt. The bus crashed and trapped the students inside it.
Firefighters were also at work trying to put out the fire.
“Once the flames had been extinguished, paramedics found that approximately 13 children [were] lying trapped inside the vehicle. Unfortunately, nothing could be done for the children and they were declared dead on the scene.”
Report says the dead children whom were about 5-10 years old were all burnt beyond recognition.
The paramedic agency said the rescued children were immediately hospitalized.
“The children were treated for their injuries and provided with advanced life support interventions before they were transported to various hospitals in the area for further treatment,”
BBC‘s Milton Nkosi concurs that over-speeding could have been the cause of the crash like Panyaza Lesufi suggested.
South Africa has the best road network in Africa, yet one of the deadliest roads in the world.
From 2015-2106, S.A’s Road Traffic Management Corporation records about 13,673 deaths.
This Easter season, a total of 235 people have died in road accidents. The Corporation estimates road deaths to have increased by 51% from last Easter season.
Nkosi urged the government to enforce laws that will curb dangerous behavioural patterns while driving as strongly suspected in this recent Bronkhorstspruit minibus crash.
Road safety blames most of the road deaths on “speeding, reckless driving, unroadworthy vehicles and failure to use seat belts.”
In all, the total number of deaths is 22- 20 were children and 2 others were adults according to the education department.