A POLICE service pistol was found in the wreckage of the minibus that collided with a truck and burst into flames, incinerating 16 passengers on board.
The horrific accident occurred on the R612 between Umzinto and Ixopo on the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast on Monday morning.
The overloaded taxi was transporting passengers from Jolivet to Durban when it collided head-on with the truck while overtaking another vehicle.
Both the taxi and the truck caught fire, and 15 passengers who were trapped in the taxi died at the scene. Another passenger died at GJ Crookes Hospital.
Police spokesperson Zandra Wiid said a police detective stationed at Umkomazi was among the dead. His name has not yet been released.
One of the passengers, Msawenkosi Ncayiya, 19, managed to escape the inferno. But his father, Patrick Ncayiya, 51, who was seated next to him on the taxi, was not so lucky as he perished in the crash.