Child (3) decapitated in horror bus crash

2008-01-21 00:00

Eleven people were killed and at least 36 seriously injured in a bus crash near Ulundi on Saturday evening, provincial authorities said yesterday.

The accident happened when a double-decker Greyhound bus travelling from Johannesburg to Durban via the Empangeni/Richards Bay route was hit by a Nissan 1400 bakkie that apparently did not stop at an intersection.

Provincial Transport Department spokeswoman Nonkululeko Mbatha said both vehicles left the road, and that no one in the bakkie survived.

Among the dead were a three-year-old child, who was decaptitated.

"Our engineers will conduct further investigations on both vehicles to determine exactly what happened.

"We are still calling for people to be careful on the roads and do what is right," she said.

Emergency Medical Rescue Services (EMRS) personnel worked throughout Saturday, taking the injured to hospitals.

Fourteen ambulances, seven response vehicles, a helicopter and a small aeroplane were used to transport those in need of advanced medical care.

One of the bus passengers was immediately airlifted to Ngwelezane Hospital, while seven more had to be airlifted from Nkonjeni Hospital to Ngwelezane in the night as their condition had deteriorated.

The ANC in KwaZulu-Natal has called for a speedy investigation into the crash.

The ANC and Health MEC Neliswa Nkonyeni sent condolences to the grieving families.

Nkonyeni heaped praise on the EMRS for their efforts on Saturday night.

Nkonyeni said all those patients admitted to their hospitals were in a stable condition.

She said relatives of these patients may contact the department call centre on 0800 005 133 for more information.

KZN Legislature Transport portfolio committee chairman Omie Singh and his task team visited the accident scene and survivors in several hospitals.

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