Friday, November 22, 2013
Latest News: 6 Zimbabweans killed after a bus carrying passengers from Johannesburg to Harare was involved in an accident
AT LEAST six Zimbabweans were feared dead yesterday after a Harare-bound bus was involved in a head-on collision with a small car on South Africa's main highway towards Beitbridge.
Six people on the bus – all believed to be Zimbabweans – were instantly killed and five occupants of a Toyota Corolla heading towards Johannesburg also lost their lives.
Seven critically and seriously injured people, including a two-year-old child, were admitted to Pietersburg Provincial Hospital.
Thirty others were treated for less serious injuries at Seshego Hospital and released, before being taken to the Home Affairs Department.
A four-year-old child, whose parents were critically injured, would be cared for at the Polokwane Care Centre.
Both drivers were among the dead.
South African police say the Gudwil Luxury Coaches was trying an overtaking manoeuvre shortly after 2am when it rammed head-on into the Corolla on the N1 near the Capricorn Plaza in Limpopo.
Limpopo police spokesperson Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi said: "What happened was that a bus was overtaking a truck and as it was overtaking, it then collided head-on with a Toyota Corolla.
"Five occupants in the Corolla died instantly as well as six people from the bus. Other passengers who were injured were taken to Utsogwa Hospital for treatment."
Gudwil representative Cherinet Gudis said the company was saddened by the accident.
"I can't comment much about the incident because we are still rushing to the scene. But obviously we are saddened by the report," said Gudis.
Gudis confirmed that the bus had left at 7.30pm in Johannesburg on Thursday and it was heading to Harare.
An estimated 56 passengers were in the bus.
President Jacob Zuma sent condolences to the families of those killed and injured.
"We wish all passengers who were injured during the crash a speedy recovery," President Zuma said in a statement.
"We urge law enforcement authorities to play their role in promoting road safety through visible enforcement, but more importantly, we urge road users, especially drivers, to take extra care and exercise utmost vigilance on the road… We cannot continue losing people in this manner."
South Africa's Transport Minister Dipuo Peters called for an investigation into the crash.
"I am warning owners and operators of public transport vehicles not to put commercial interests ahead of people's lives. We will not tolerate reckless and negligent behaviour on our roads," Peters said in a statement.
Limpopo health MEC Dipuo Letsatsi-Duba called it a sad day for the South African and Zimbabwean families who had lost their loved ones in the accident.
"Our health professionals are doing their best to ensure that the injured are attended to."
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