Horror crash kills 14

2013-11-23 00:00

A HORROR minibus accident claimed at least 14 lives in the Umkomaas area yesterday when a taxi — whose driver is suspected to have been drunk — crashed into a stationary truck.

The taxi was travelling from Umkomaas to Madapeni when the driver lost control, crashed into a gate and then hit the trailer of the large stationary truck.

Netcare 911 spokesperson Santi Steinman said 14 people were killed, two critically injured, one sustained serious injuries and one moderate injuries.

One of the injured was placed on life support before being airlifted to hospital.

Transport Department spokesperson Kwanele Ncalane said the driver was arrested as he tested positive for alcohol.

Discrepancies about where one of the vehicles was issued with a roadworthy certificate were also being investigated.

KwaZulu-Natal EMS spokesperson Robert McKenzie said the horrific accident occurred at around 2.30 pm. “It appears that the taxi came down the hill and collided with a stationary truck near the Sappi gate,” he said.

Sappi Saiccor spokesperson Zelda Schwalbach said the speeding taxi collided with the truck inside their premises.

“But we are not sure yet about whether any of the occupants were employed by the company,” she said.

Schwalbach said the truck belonged to a contractor.

By 4 pm, 90 minutes after the accident, some of the bodies were still trapped inside the vehicle.

Christo Venter of ER24 said one of their paramedics described the scene as the worst they’d ever seen.

The accident was the second mass casualty crash yesterday.

In Limpopo, 11 people were killed when a bus overtook on a barrier line and hit a car at about 2 am.

Five of the dead were travelling in the car while the other six were in the bus.

Some of those killed were from Zimbabwe, authorities said.

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