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Rescue services battle to reach burning bus on N1 highway as motorists block emergency lane

ER24's Russel Meiring said although the blasting sirens from the emergency vehicles may be annoying to motorists, they should be given space to pass as they would be trying to reach and clear an accident scene.
ER24's Russel Meiring said although the blasting sirens from the emergency vehicles may be annoying to motorists, they should be given space to pass as they would be trying to reach and clear an accident scene.
Image: Reza

Emergency services in Johannesburg battled to reach an accident scene where a cross-border bus carrying passengers had caught alight as motorists were driving in the emergency lane.

A passenger bus travelling from Cape Town to Zimbabwe caught fire on the N1 north by the William Nicol Drive offramp in Johannesburg.

Although no injuries were reported, the incident caused heavy traffic and the smoke from the burning bus could be seen from kilometres away.

ER24 battled to reach the scene as the emergency lane they would use in such instances was blocked off by vehicles trying to evade the traffic jam.

“Earlier this morning, ER24 and other emergency services had difficulty responding to an incident on the N1 highway near the William Nicol offramp due to motorists using the emergency lane,” ER24 spokesperson Russel Meiring said.

“ER24 urges all motorists to please refrain from using the emergency lane and make way for emergency vehicles.”

Meiring said that although the blasting sirens from the emergency vehicles may be annoying to motorists, they should be given space to pass as they would be trying to reach and clear an accident scene.

“We also request that you try and avoid driving in the shoulder lanes of the road if there is traffic; it makes it very difficult for us to get to the scene of the accident.

“The sooner we get to the scene, the sooner the patients and wrecked vehicles will be removed and traffic will flow freely once again. We do apologise for blocking the roads, but somebody needs us because they are hurt,” Meiring said.

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