Twins born after horror N1 crash
Tisha Steyn, Die Burger
Oudtshoorn - A woman with third-degree burns gave birth to a set of twins shortly after a gruesome minibus taxi accident outside Leeu-Gamka on the N1 on Tuesday morning.
However, another pregnant passenger who went into premature labour following the accident died at the scene, along with her baby.
Passengers shattered windows to get to safety, and the driver desperately fought against flames following the accident in which 11 people died - 10 of them at the scene.
The accident happened just after 03:00 on the N1, about 20km outside Leeu-Gamka in the direction of Beaufort West, on the notorious "death stretch".
The minibus taxi with 19 passengers was travelling from the Eastern Cape to Cape Town.
The woman's twins, a boy and a girl, were born following an emergency C-section in the Beaufort West hospital.
She sustained third-degree burns. She was believed to have been 36 weeks pregnant.
On Tuesday afternoon she was transported to Cape Town in the Red Cross's AMS fixed-wing aircraft, along with another woman who had also sustained third-degree wounds.
They were taken via ambulance to Tygerberg Hospital, said AMS spokesperson Vanessa Horn.
The twins both weighed more than 2kg at birth but remained in Beaufort West as there was no space in the Tygerberg burn unit for them, reported Kobus Pretorius.
The mother was connected to a ventilator and immediately brought to the burn unit, said Tygerberg Hospital spokesperson Laticia Pienaar.
She said on Tuesday evening that both women were in a critical condition. Only the mother was admitted to the burn unit.
Truck tyre burst
The accident occurred when a truck's tyre burst and a piece of metal landed in the road. The taxi drove over the metal, after which a spark ignited the petrol tank and the taxi caught fire, said Beaufort West police spokesperson Captain Dawid de Klerk.
Nine of the passengers got away by breaking windows and clambering to safety. The other ten were overwhelmed by the flames and died on the scene.
Six of the nine survivors were seriously injured and admitted to the Beaufort West hospital.
The truck driver and his two passengers were also seriously injured and admitted to the Beaufort West hospital.
None of the deceased had been identified by family by Tuesday evening. De Klerk said police didn't yet know who all of the survivors were.
Western Cape Minister of Transport and Public Works, Robin Carlisle, said on Tuesday that the accident was a terrible tragedy.