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8-Year-Old Sole Survivor After South Africa Bus Crash Claims 45 Lives

March 28, 2024

Photo Credit: The Telegraph

Tragedy struck on Thursday in South Africa as a bus, ferrying worshippers to Moria for Easter weekend celebrations, careened off the Mmamatlakala bridge, claiming the lives of 45 passengers. The only survivor, an eight-year-old girl, now fights for her life in a hospital, amidst a scene of devastation and grief.

The bus, reportedly carrying Christians from Botswana, was en route to Moria, a town known for its Easter gatherings of the Zion Christian Church faithful. The Kloof Pass, a perilous mountainous route, bore witness to the horror as the bus lost control on its tight bends, hurtling into a ravine below before erupting into flames.

Transport authorities suspect that the driver lost control while negotiating a turn, a theory compounded by the bus’s trailer allegedly loaded with flammable materials. As the wreckage lay smoldering in the ravine, emergency services scrambled to the scene, confronted by a grim tableau of charred remains and scattered debris.

Transport Minister Sindisiwe Chikunga has hinted at the necessity of DNA analysis to ascertain the identities of the deceased. Compounding the challenge, some victims are trapped within the twisted wreckage of the bus, while others have been scattered across the rugged crash site, nestled within the unforgiving ravine.

Although local media reports suggest the victims were pilgrims from Botswana, the nationalities of the passengers remain unconfirmed. The bus bore a Botswana license plate, adding to the complexity of the investigation.

Sindisiwe Chikunga, expressed her condolences to the families of the victims and the government of Botswana, promising a thorough investigation into the incident. “Our thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time,” she affirmed, vowing to ensure the victims are laid to rest with dignity.

Rescue efforts were hampered by the treacherous terrain, with bodies entangled in the wreckage and some scattered across the crash site.

The bridge where the accident occurred remains closed to traffic, prompting motorists to seek alternative routes amidst the disruption.

Despite boasting one of the most developed road networks on the African continent, South Africa continues to grapple with a concerning safety record, highlighted by the recent catastrophe.

In a poignant plea issued just hours before the crash, President Cyril Ramaphosa urged South Africans to exercise caution during the Easter week festivities. Emphasizing the importance of collective responsibility in ensuring road safety, he urged citizens to make concerted efforts to prevent further tragedies.”Let’s do our best to make this a safe Easter,” President Ramaphosa implored. “Easter does not have to be a time where we sit back and wait to see statistics on tragedy or injuries on our roads.”

 

 

Credit: The  Telegraph

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