At least 17 die in Mpumalanga crash

2011-12-01 09:19
Mbombela - At least 17 people, including a toddler, were killed when a minibus taxi crashed into a truck outside Belfast in Mpumalanga on Thursday morning, an official said.

"Rescue workers are still cutting through the wreckage of the truck to free the occupants," Mpumalanga public safety spokesperson Joseph Mabuza said.

The minibus, believed to be carrying 17 people, veered out of its lane and collided head-on with a truck on the N4 outside Belfast around 04:00. The truck dragged the minibus and both vehicles caught fire.

"When the paramedics arrived, they found three people lying [dead] on the ground, as if they were thrown out of the minibus, or they jumped," said Mabuza.

"They [the paramedics]... removed 13 bodies from the taxi. The bodies were burnt beyond recognition."

A 2-year-old child was among those killed. The taxi was en route from Mozambique to Johannesburg, while the truck was travelling from Johannesburg to Mbombela.

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