Sunday, April 21, 2024

45 People Killed After Bus Crashes in South Africa

A bus carrying a group of pilgrims from Botswana to Limpopo plunged off a bridge into a nearby ravine, killing 45 people.

The only survivor was an eight-year-old girl who sustained significant injuries but has since stabilized in the hospital.

Since the bus immediately burst into flames after hitting the ground, most of the bodies were burned beyond recognition. Several body parts from different individuals may have also fused together in the flames, which has complicated the process.

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So far, authorities have only been able to identify nine of the bodies, though search operations are still ongoing.

Several of the passengers were also thrown from the vehicle upon impact.

According to the provincial government, the bus lost control and plunged off a bridge while driving through the Mmamatlakala mountain pass, approximately 200 miles from Johannesburg.

Following the crash, rescue teams immediately began looking for survivors, however, they were only able to locate one girl, despite continuing their operations into the next morning.

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Experts believe the eight-year-old girl was able to survive because she was ejected from the bus after the vehicle hit a barrier on the road

Colin Msibi, the spokesperson for the South Africa Department of Transport said they believe the vehicle hit the barrier of the bridge, which caused the eight-year-old girl to be ejected from the vehicle, which is how she was able to survive the ordeal.

Sindisiwe Chikunga, the Transport Minister of South Africa, visited the scene of the crash and offered her ‘heartfelt condolences’ to the victims and the victims’ families. She confirmed that the government will be launching a full investigation into what caused the crash.

Easter Pilgrimage

According to Cyril Ramaphosa, the President of South Africa, all of the victims, who were from Botswana, were on their way to a town called Moria for a popular Easter pilgrimage – one that attracts hundreds of thousands from across South Country and neighboring regions.

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The vehicle, which was carrying pilgrims to the town of Moria, burst into flames after falling into a ravine

President Ramaphosa also called Mokgweetsi Masisi, the Botswana President, offering his condolences, saying that their government would do anything they could to help.

Poor Road Safety

South Africa has a poor history when it comes to road safety. Chikunga said she would never recommend a person driving a bus or truck to drive down the mountain pass that the vehicle plunged from as it ‘winds constantly with sharp turns and bends’.

The government often issues warnings to drivers and motorists to be careful during the Easter long weekend as the roads are particularly busy. Last year alone, over 200 people died in vehicle crashes during the Easter holidays.

Brooke Carter
Brooke Carter
Freelance writer who loves dogs and anything related to Japanese culture.
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