Ambulances, traffic cops, police and motorists joined hands yesterday to rescue survivors of the two trucks accident in which 25 people were confirmed dead.
Nine injured people are still in hospital.
The winding, mountainous road in Bushbuckridge, notorious for its many accidents, was slippery as a result of rain and there was a thick mist, which was suspected of being the main causes of the accident at about 6am.
One of the trucks was ferrying plantation workers from Casteel, Violetbank and neighbouring villages on the R40 road between Acornhoek and Bushbuckridge when it collided with a horse-and-trailer truck on the winding road.
Police said the accident happened when the driver of the one truck, which was transporting stock to Kentucky Fried Chicken outlets in Acornhoek, lost control of the vehicle.
"The horse-and-trailer driver lost control on a sharp bend, collided head-on with the oncoming truck and dragged it for more than 20 metres, Superintendent Abie Khoabane said yesterday .
"Twenty-five people have been confirmed dead but the number could rise because we believe others might still be trapped under the rubble."
Khoabane said the police dog unit had been called in from White River to help rescue trapped victims.
Rescuers struggled to help victims in the heavy rain, while the situation was made worse by the fact that only a single lane was available to motorists for more than 10 hours.
Helpers removed the injured and dead from the wreckage.
The horse-and-trailer truck practically ran over the other truck and its passengers on the back, pushing it down a gorge and over to the other side.
Shocked journalists wept openly on the scene when Mpumalanga transport MEC Jackson Mthembu, Ehlanzeni executive mayor Khosi Mkhonto and Bushbuckridge executive mayor Milton Morema addressed the media.
The delegation visited the injured at the Mapulaneng Hospital and Morema was expected to visit the families of the victims yesterday afternoon.