JOHANNESBURG, April 21 – Up to 17 pupils were killed and several others injured on Friday afternoon, when a truck and a taxi collided head-on on the R25 between Verena and Bronkhorstspruit, in Gauteng.
Details of the accident were not known and Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi was at the scene, his department said. He spoke to Talk Radio 702 shortly before 4pm, confirming that tragically 17 children had died.
“It is with sadness to inform that, a minibus transporting learners was involved in a horrific accident, and about 20 learners died on the scene,” his department said earlier, while he was on his way to the scene.
“More information will be shared in due course.”
Earlier, ER24 spokesperson Russel Meiring said that around 13 children were killed and several others injured. He said when paramedics arrived on the scene they found the fire services already in attendance.
“Fire services had already extinguished the burning vehicle, which was found lying on its side. Paramedics assessed the scene and found that approximately 20 children had been inside the vehicle when it collided with the truck,” he said.
“Once the flames had been extinguished, paramedics found that approximately 13 children lying trapped inside the vehicle. Unfortunately, nothing could be done for the children and they were declared dead on the scene. Several other children were found on the scene. It is believed that these children had been pulled out of the taxi by members of the community.”
He said that paramedics assessed the children and found that seven children had sustained injuries raging from minor to critical. They were treated on the scene before they were taken to hospital for further medical treatment.
The cause of the collision was not known and would be investigate.
– African News Agency (ANA)