Around 20 school children have died in a head-on collision between a minibus taxi and a truck in Gauteng province.
The force of the accident was enough to set the taxi on fire according to road safety services.
“Once the flames had been extinguished, paramedics found that approximately 17 children lying trapped inside the vehicle”, said the Arrive Alive organisation in a press statement. “Unfortunately, nothing could be done for the children and they were declared dead on the scene.”
The accident occurred on the R25 between Verena and Bronkhorstpruit.
Sources say paramedics were able to aid some of the children thanks to the help of community members who rushed to the scene. The injured pupils range from mild to critical injuries.
Spokesperson for the Gauteng Education Department, Steve Mabona, says that around 30 people were involved in the accident.
Gauteng MEC for Education, Panyaza Lesufi arrived on the scene and expressed that it had become a “sad and dark day for education in the province”. He added that the support received from members of society had been paramount to saving some of the learners.
“We’d like to thank them and the religious members who are here to provide all the prayers.”