Road accident leaves two pupils dead and 78 injured

TWO pupils were killed and 78 others injured, when a bus they were travelling in overturned at Mogodi village near Lebowakgomo on Friday, police said.

Inspector Manong Tshehla of the Lebowakgomo police said the accident happened after the bus failed to turn on the off ramp.

The bus belongs to Sekhukhune Express and was ferrying pupils from Masheanyane Secondary School pupils at GaMathabatha to Bloemfontein on a sports trip.

Tshehla said the two pupils were certified dead by emergency officials o the scene.

"The driver of the bus is in a critical condition and 35 pupils have been admitted to various hospitals, but 45 were treated and discharged with minor injuries," Tshehla said.

He said they were also investigating the possibility of alcohol having had an effect on the driver since bottles were found in the bus.

Some of the pupils might also face a public drinking charge, he said.

It is understood that the department of education's policy prohibits schools from undertaking trips in September because of imminent examinations.

Asked if the trip had been authorised, departmental spokesperson Ndo Mangala said the department would investigate the matter.

The police said a culpable homicide case was being investigated and that details would be released as soon as investigations into the cause of the accident were complete. - Chester Makana