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Death toll of bus that plunged off bridge rises

By unknown | Oct 09, 2008 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Riot Hlatshwayo

Riot Hlatshwayo

The death toll in the horrific bus accident in Mpumalanga on Tuesday has risen to 31 after one more victim died in hospital.

The bus was transporting 59 passengers, mostly local farm workers and some Swaziland nationals, along the D609 road near Piet Retief at about 5.30pm.

Police said preliminary investigations revealed that the driver lost control of the bus, which resulted in it plunging off a bridge.

Twenty-seven people, including two children, died on the spot. The rest were taken to Piet Retief Hospital.

Six critically injured people were transferred to the Milpark Hospital in Johannesburg and Witbank Hospital.

Mpumalanga roads and transport MEC Jackson Mthembu, departmental head Martin Mokonyama, some senior management officials from the department and Mkhondo municipality mayor Mary Khumalo visited the injured in the Piet Retief Hospital yesterday.

"We are saddened and shocked," Mthembu. said. "One life lost on the road is one too many. It is even more painful and traumatic to lose more than 30 lives in just one accident."

The delegation also visited the accident scene.

Of the victims, 10 passengers were slightly injured, while 12 were reported to be in a serious condition.

The exact cause of the accident had still not been established by yesterday afternoon but the department and the Road Traffic Management Corporation are expected to conduct an investigation.

"A task team that will look into the type of assistance that will be offered to those affected has also been formed," said spokesman David Nkambule.

"The task team will advise the government on a course of action, including logistics and other matters."


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