Pupils on excursion left traumatised after gang attacks bus

2011-08-23 00:00

SCHOOLCHILDREN travelling on an excursion to King Shaka International Airport and the Moses Mabhida Stadium were left traumatised when the bus they were travelling in was pulled over and vandalised by a gang of armed men in Applebosch near Tongaat.

Seventy children from Our Lady of Rosary Primary School in Ndwedwe were terrified when five armed men apparently forced the driver out of the bus and threatened the occupants.

Motives for the incident are unknown. The attackers vandalised the bus and broke several windows, said Prem Balram of Reaction Unit South Africa’s (Rusa).

“The bus sent out a distress signal via Tracker and controllers were informed that armed suspects had forcefully stopped the bus,” said Balram.

Rusa control centre in Tongaat received several urgent calls from the public, but they apparently failed to give the exact location of the bus.

“Parents were hysterical when a student had phoned her mother believing that she was going to be burnt alive in the bus,” said Balram.

Rusa dispatched a helicopter and ground crew.

“Ground support reaction officers Vinod Balram and Kieran Ramjogi entered the bus and found the 70 hysterical students. The bus driver, Esmond Lindelani, was also visibly shaken,” said Balram.

The suspects fled upon hearing the approaching helicopter. Investigations are continuing.

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