Nine die as truck and bus collide

WRECK: This Bahwaduba Bus Services bus was involved in an accident with a Malawian truck on the N1 outside Polokwane yesterday. Nine people are reported to have died at the scene while the injured were taken to hospitals in Polokwane. Pic: ELIJAR MUSHIANA. 18/06/2009. © Sowetan.
HORRIFIC:The remains of an accident involving the Mahwaduba Bus Services which collided head on with a Malawian truck on the N1 road outside Polokwane on Thursday (yesterday). Nine people were reported died at the scene while injured were rushed to Polokwane Hospital. PHOTO: ELIJAR MUSHIANA
WRECK: This Bahwaduba Bus Services bus was involved in an accident with a Malawian truck on the N1 outside Polokwane yesterday. Nine people are reported to have died at the scene while the injured were taken to hospitals in Polokwane. Pic: ELIJAR MUSHIANA. 18/06/2009. © Sowetan. HORRIFIC:The remains of an accident involving the Mahwaduba Bus Services which collided head on with a Malawian truck on the N1 road outside Polokwane on Thursday (yesterday). Nine people were reported died at the scene while injured were rushed to Polokwane Hospital. PHOTO: ELIJAR MUSHIANA

A FREAK accident involving a bus and a truck outside Polokwane left at least nine people dead yesterday.

A FREAK accident involving a bus and a truck outside Polokwane left at least nine people dead yesterday.

The accident happened between 5.30am and 6am yesterday on the N1 North road, about 20km outside Polokwane. The bus was carrying people from Sekonye village in Botlokwa who were heading to work in the city while the truck was heading northwards.

Preliminary investigations have revealed that the truck belonged to a company in Blantyre, Malawi, and the bus belonged to the ZCC.

Traffic had to be brought to a halt for about five hours as paramedics and other emergency workers tried to remove the bodies from the wreckage.

The truck's front part was destroyed and it was difficult to identify the bodies inside. It had caught fire during the accident.

Inspector Lesiba Ramoshaba said eight men and a woman were killed

The identities of the deceased are still being established, he said.

"It is still early at the moment to determine the identities of the victims as this accident happened in the morning and also involved people believed to be foreigners.

"But we are hopeful we'll get the details soon," said Ramoshaba.

On Monday last week, another bus driver lost control of his vehicle, killing 10 Zimbabwean nationals a few kilometres from the scene of yesterday's accident.

Thirty of the survivors were also taken to various hospitals in Polokwane for treatment.

Ramoshaba also confirmed that the truck driver was one of the people who died at the scene. Three other dead people were found inside the truck but it is not known whether they were occupants of the truck or were flung from the wrecked bus.

Ramoshaba said the injured were taken to Mankweng, Polokwane and Seshego hospitals for treatment.

"So far we can only confirm that two of the victims were critical, 17 seriously injured, while 44 were slightly injured," he said.

A culpable homicide case has been opened and police are investigating to determine the cause of the accident.

"It is regrettable that so many lives continue to be lost on our roads," said Selby Makgotho, spokesperson for the provincial department of roads and transport.

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