Most Michaelhouse pupils injured in bus crash discharged from hospital – rector

2017-09-06 21:43
The overturned Michaelhouse school bus on the N3 at Town Hill outside Pietermaritzburg on Tuesday afternoon. (supplied)

The overturned Michaelhouse school bus on the N3 at Town Hill outside Pietermaritzburg on Tuesday afternoon. (supplied)

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Pietermaritzburg - Most of the pupils injured in the Michaelhouse school bus accident which killed one pupil on Tuesday afternoon have been discharged from hospital, the school's rector said on Wednesday.

In a letter to parents, Michaelhouse rector Greg Theron said 13 boys and one staff member remained in hospital following the accident.

"Most of the deep concerns we had during the course of the evening about some of these injuries seem now to have been allayed," Theron said.

"While [the injuries] continue to be serious we believe, God willing, that all concerned have turned a corner."

The school held a service on Wednesday morning to commemorate the life of Themba Dloti who died in the accident when a bus carrying four under-16 soccer teams crossed the N3 barrier at Town Hill and came to rest in the way of oncoming traffic.

"It was a muted and sombre affair with the exception of the school hymn which, while deeply emotional, threatened to lift the roof off of our chapel," Theron said.

A memorial service for Dloti will be held in the Michaelhouse chapel on Friday at 12:00.

Bus 'well-maintained' and driver 'highly experienced'

Theron said the school was extremely grateful to "literally thousands of people, schools and organisations who have in turn extended their support and love to our community during this time".

He also thanked provincial police and paramedics who got to the crash scene within a short time and who were "caring and efficient in what they did".

"These are generally thankless tasks and I was deeply touched by their compassion and care."

On Tuesday afternoon, KwaZulu-Natal emergency medical services spokesperson Robert McKenzie told News24 that 45 pupils were injured in the accident. He said it is unclear what caused the accident.

Maharaj's Coaches, which operated the bus involved in the accident, said this was the "first accident of its kind" in its long association with various schools.

"In so far as the vehicle and driver involved in the accident are concerned, we can give you, the public, the assurance that the vehicle was well-maintained and the driver highly experienced," spokesperson Dev Maharaj said in a statement to News24.

"The incident is truly a blemish on our impeccable safety record and we have no doubt that the investigation will reveal that this was a freak incident that could not have been foreseen or avoided."

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  accidents

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