Bus and tanker crash and burst into flames, but all 23 occupants escape

2010-06-29 00:00

TWENTY-three occupants of a bus and those of a tanker transporting 40 000 litres of diesel escaped with their lives when the two vehicles collided in thick smoke caused by a grass fire and caught alight on the R103 near Colenso yesterday.

Provincial Road Traffic Inspectorate spokesperson Zinhle ­Mngomezulu said everyone “thanked God” that no one had been trapped.

She said the fact that the vehicles sideswiped each other while travelling in opposite directions ensured that the doors were able to open quickly.

The meant the occupants could make good their escape before the vehicles were consumed by the resulting inferno.

Only one person, a woman, was seriously injured in the accident and was admitted to Ladysmith Provincial Hospital, she said.

The other occupants suffered minor injuries and shock.

Mngomezulu said there was no information available about the bus or where it was going when the accident happened due to the fact that the bus and tanker were completely burnt out.

“We don’t even have a registration number to go on at this stage,” she said.

Mngomezulu said the accident happened in dense smoke caused by a grass fire along the road that reduced visibility to almost zero.

“It is alleged the bus lost control and veered towards the middle of the road where it side-swiped the oncoming tanker as the two vehicles went past one another,” said Mngomezulu

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