74 people injured as bus overturns

Sne Masuku

Sne Masuku

Four people are fighting for their lives in Durban hospitals and another 70 were slightly injured when a bus driver lost control of his vehicle and it overturned.

The SA Roadlink bus crashed into a centre barrier, overturned and landed on the opposite carriageway.

The bus was travelling from Johannesburg to Durban when the accident happened at Paradise Valley just after the Marianhill Toll Plaza on the N3.

Of the injured, 13 were children. Police spokesman Vincent Mdunge said the driver also suffered minor injuries.

"It is alleged that the driver saw something, an animal or something else, crossing the road. When he tried to avoid hitting it, he lost control of the vehicle," Mdunge said.

Police are investigating a case of reckless and negligent driving. The bus had left Johannesburg the night before and was due to arrive at Durban station in about an hour before the crash.

Survivors say they do not know what happened as many of them were asleep at the time. They said they suddenly heard people on board screaming.

The injured were taken to several hospitals in Durban where some were treated and discharged.

This is the second accident involving an SA Roadlink bus. Last year a bus from the same company crashed near Pietermaritzburg, killing 12 people.

KwaZulu-Natal MEC for transport, community safety and liaison Bheki Cele expressed concern over the accident.

He said the bus had been sent for a roadworthiness check.

"I would like to continue to encourage drivers to be alert at all times.

"I further encourage bus owners to ensure that their buses are in a roadworthy condition.

"I also urge drivers to rest from time to time if they have to travel long distances," Cele said.