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Update: Horror bus crash kills 10 in WCape

2014-05-08 13:59

BUS CRASH HORROR: Authorities are still investigating the cause of a horror bus crash near Oudtshoorn that claimed the lives of 10 passengers, including a three-year-old. Image: Sapa

An Intercape bus was involved in a crash killing 10 passengers, one of whom was three-years-old, reports transport and public works MEC Robin Carlisle.

Earlier on Thursday (May 8), Western Cape province traffic chief Kenny Africa said: "Ten people died at the scene and another person died in hospital. Another 18 passengers were injured, nine seriously."

'THREE-YEAR OLD KILLED'

Carlisle confirms that it was in fact 10 passengers killed: "At 1:50am this morning (May 8), an Intercape bus was involved in a horrific crash claiming the lives of nine passengers and a three-year-old child.

“The bus was reportedly travelling from Cape Town to Queenstown, with 52 people on board, when the crash occurred approximately 25km from Oudtshoorn on the N12.”

“A full investigation by our Provincial Traffic Services and SAPS is already underway, to determine the cause of the crash, which is still unknown. Investigations will consider both driver and vehicle fitness, ensuring that all preventative measures were implemented, as required by law, by Intercape.”

Intercape reports: "10 persons were confirmed dead and 18 admitted to hospital."

The department released the following:
 • 36 injured passengers were admitted to Oudtshoorn Hospital, two at Medi Clinic Klein Karoo and one at George Provincial Hospital.
• Nine passengers were pronounced dead at the scene with a three-year-old-child dying later in hospital.

ER24 spokesman Werner Vermaak said paramedics received a call about the incident at 2am. Vermaak said paramedics and police had to climb into the bus to free some people who were trapped in the debris.

'ONE LIFE LOST IS ONE TOO MANY'

Carlisle said: "Such crashes highlight how much more work can and must still be done by all public transport operators authorities alike.

"On behalf of this government and the Department of Transport and Public Works, I would like to extend my deepest condolences to the families of those that have lost their lives, and wish a speedy recovery to those that have been injured in this horrific crash.

"One life lost on our roads is one too many. We will continue to work vigilantly, in partnership with all in our road safety family, to ensure that lives are not lost so senselessly on our roads."

INTERCAPE RESPONDS

Intercape released the following statement: "The cause of the crash is still unknown and investigations are underway. The last communication with the bus was made at about 1.20am at which point the bus had not yet entered the Outeniqua mountain pass and confirmed that all was in order."

"Intercape's records show the bus had its roadworthy test on February 7 2014 and is valid until August 6 2014. In terms of Intercape's standard operating procedures a brake test was performed on the bus on May 5 2014.

"Intercape has contacted the next of kin of all passengers affected and is assisting with their immediate needs. Intercape will also assist with the funeral costs of the deceased."

23 ROAD DEATHS IN A WEEK

Carlise reports that to date, 23 people have been killed on the province's roads (excluding the May 8 bus crash), down from 30 deaths compared to the same period in 2013.

He said: "These include, 11 pedestrians, five drivers, four passengers, two motorcyclists and a cyclist.

“The last major crash on our provincial roads occurred in 2013 on 15 March, when a bus crashed at the Hex River Valley, claiming 24 lives."
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