Knysna bus 'went through barrier'

2011-08-24 11:07

Cape Town - A school bus that went into a river in Knysna appeared to “have gone through the barrier” of a bridge and then landed up in the water, ER24 said on Wednesday.

The death toll from the accident now stands at 14.

ER24’s Andre Visser told News24 that divers were still searching the water for victims.

Visser could not say how many how many injured children had been taken to hospital but did say that most of the injured only had minor injuries such as scrapes and bruises and sore necks and backs.

- Were you there? Send us your eyewitness accounts

  • MTRJ - 2011-08-24 11:09

    Hectic! Shame.

      Joe_Public - 2011-08-24 11:24

      Government needs to regulate the transport of children. Some of these bus drivers (not neccessarily saying this one in particular) drive buses buses weighing several tons as if they are small cars. Most buses are old and cannot handle the stresses of speeding through bends and stopping rapidly all the time. My educated guess would be that these public transport accidents are caused by negligence on the part of the driver in that the bus may "fail" by reacting badly to bad driving.

      Fikile - 2011-08-24 12:24

      My deepest sympathies to the family and loved ones it is very sad news it is with a heavy heart that I write this as I feel it's like loosing one of my own, this senseless slaughter of kids MUST STOP. NOW!!! I can't bear to read this every so often!! but WTF, bus/taxi owners or drivers must jailed for manslaughter if found that they were negligent. To many taxi and bus operators literally get away with MURDER.

      Foxx - 2011-08-24 16:29

      ER24 , there are no barriers at that river, got your info wrong.There have been so many accidents and lost of life at that same place.

      Peter - 2011-08-24 17:37

      @Foxx. I agree the problem is that there were no barriers. Hang the Minister of transport for not making the roads safe in the first place.

  • jakkals - 2011-08-24 11:15

    What a horrible tragedy. Condolences to all affected by another accident involving children.

  • lance ANCY - 2011-08-24 11:17


  • Bill - 2011-08-24 11:18

    This is tragic! Young lives taken so early and so needlessly..! When are the authorities going to get off their backsides and stop the carnage on our roads...!

      GT - 2011-08-24 11:46

      Government can only do so much, at some point the public needs to obey the laws.

  • Uninformed - 2011-08-24 11:21

    Not a lot of info was given on how the accident may have occurred. But shame, those poor kids.

      Ginseng - 2011-08-24 11:59

      That corner where the bus went off is the turning point for two steep declines on either side. The one decline is long and the Taxi's in the area (just like their brethren all over SA) often fly down there, where the speed-limit is only 60km/h. This is not the first accident on that corner, I saw many is the 20 years I lived there. From what I remember the aren't any barriers either, and no river like the report suggests. Its a small, stagnant piece of water that that is shallow most of the year. For whatever reason (speed, failure of brakes, burst tire) the bus couldn't negotiate that very sharp bend. Very sad.

      Brad - 2011-08-24 12:51

      I can only guess but if it is the bus that I think then there are some serious questions to be asked- the bus in question is at least 30 years old- a well-known hazard on the roads around here- would often break down. We also had very heavy rains last night so there would have been debris on the roads and that dam would have been full of water

  • Roundana - 2011-08-24 11:22

    OMG!i do not want to think what the parents must be feeling now...I am so so condolences.

  • Butterfly - 2011-08-24 11:23

    My heart bleeds for every parent that has to go to bed tonight without your little one's!! Deepest Condolances!

  • BeautifulEden - 2011-08-24 11:27

    Thoughts and prayers for the families... very sad and unnecessary..

  • pberchu - 2011-08-24 11:31

    Shame my prayers are with those children & their families.

  • Rene - 2011-08-24 11:34

    I cannot imagine what the families of the deceased are going through. My thoughts & prayers are with each and every one!! RIP little angels..

  • Niren Mahabir - 2011-08-24 11:38

    Unless the authorities ban un-roadworthy vehicles and stop issuing driver's licenses on bribery, this will continue to make headlines in SA.

  • Brad - 2011-08-24 11:39

    It is numbing to read something like this. If there is someone who knows which school was involved please let us know. Is it the 'Flying Dutchman'bus (a dilapidated old bus that was always breaking down)- should have been taken off the road years ago. Have been working very closely with a number of rural schools around Rheenendal and it is not the first time that these schools have been devastated by a road accident- a few years ago most of the staff including headmaster of a small school in the area were killed in a collision.

      KnysnaSha - 2011-08-24 18:59

      It was Rheenendal Primary School

  • Fikile - 2011-08-24 11:40

    Horrible Accident,i really can't bring this to my understanding.

  • Duane - 2011-08-24 11:52

    Sad, Sad, Sad, Sad, Sad

  • Wendy And. - 2011-08-24 11:53

    I am soooo heartsore now as my son recently went to Knysna on a school bus and I was nervous..... My condolences to all the families of these poor children...I am in tears writing this as I cannot even begin to imagine what the parents must go through.......

      Isabel Jones - 2011-08-24 12:43

      And my son of 10 is going on a school bus next week for an outing 30km's away ... to hear of a tragic accident such as this one is not what any parent needs, ever.

      Bok Fan - 2011-08-24 13:30

      My exact experience and feelings. I actually get frightened at the thought of my kids going anywhere by road.

  • lebo.lathane - 2011-08-24 12:04

    This breaks my heart! The only way another parent would understand...

  • JH - 2011-08-24 12:04

    It is time that the goverment do something about the idiotic and ignorant bus drivers and truck drivers on our roads. It will clearly show on the back of their vechiles that the speed limit is 80 or 100 for that specific vechile, but ir amazes me when I am driving in peak traffic on a highway at 120 km/h when the trucks and busses passes you as if you are standing still. I had to stop a PUTCO bus driver on Atterbury road in PTA the other day, and ask him why he is driving at around 140 km p/h down such a busy road and that he is putting people in danger? Off course he thought I was the ignorant one to ask him that.

  • Benedict Pillars - 2011-08-24 12:04

    So sad, no parent have to go through what these parents are going through right now. this need to be investigated thoroughly.

  • stepheNo1 - 2011-08-24 12:08

    So sad that an outing should end so tragically. Deepest sympathy to those parents and siblings of the deceased. Hope they determine the cause of the accident for future caution.

  • Lida - 2011-08-24 12:10

    Was it the drivers fault? or the state of upkeep? Too little info. Harm has been done. My heart goes out to all those involved. My condolences

  • blue ocean - 2011-08-24 12:11

    The area where the accident happened is known to be a dangerous bend, I often travel that road and one has to slow down to at least 40km to safely navigate the dip and the bend, the smaller commuter taxi's from Rheenendal drive like maniacs on that stretch of road in particular, I often have to drive that way and I always SH***t myself

  • Collitjies - 2011-08-24 12:13

    My condolences to family and friends. The school transport busses should be speed regulated to prevent some drivers from excess speeding, these accidents are becoming all too frequent. Drivers of this form of transport should be regularly tested for their driving skills and have regular medical check ups.

  • Daddy - 2011-08-24 12:15

    I live in Soweto and everyday I see reckless drivers with children in transit. They overtake in all the wrong places, disregard red lights and stop signs. They just don't care that they are transporting other people's children. They should be charged with culpable homicide and later be sued.

      Snoopy88 - 2011-08-24 12:30

      Perhaps you should be asking your local council where all the traffic police are? Is it just me or are there fewer and fewer of them on the streets? Why don't you videotape the culprits and then perform a citizen's arrest?

  • blue ocean - 2011-08-24 12:19

    Bottom line, aside from driver error I think the road itself is dangerous, this narrow road is access to a growing community and therefore a big increase in traffic, the town council should be aware that this is not a "Bridge" it is a drift with water on either side, there is no shoulder on this road or any part of this stretch, and if there was a barrier (I definitely cannot say I ever noticed one) then it should have been a decent one, proper concrete & high enough to stop a car from entering the Swampy muddy waters, Sadly this is not the first vehicle to go in here with loss to life!

  • robm - 2011-08-24 12:22

    This really is tragic. I have two children 3 and 7 and they are my life. If there is anything positive about this it's the fact THAT THIS IS FIRST TIME IN A LONG WHILE I'VE READ COMMENTS WHERE THERE HASN'T BEEN A RACIAL ARGUMENT OF SOME SORT, OR A CHILDISM IMMATURE COMMENT. EXCELLENT GOING IN MY HUMBLE OPINION!

      Fedup - 2011-08-24 12:33

      I agree with you but who is the idiot who is posting negatively on each comment

      Arcturus - 2011-08-24 12:59

      @Fed-up - I wonder if the thumbs down person is actually meaning to say that this is all very bad news - I also sometimes get confused and think that a thumbs up is not appropriate... I don't think anybody could possible disagree with our commiserations.

      Arcturus - 2011-08-24 13:02

      I am also amazed at the lack of racists comments... maybe we are growing up at last! Praise for all the mature sympathies.

  • Mornay - 2011-08-24 12:27

    Terrible accident! My thoughts go out to evertbody involved in this accident... :(

  • KimmyH - 2011-08-24 12:27

    Condolences to the families:-(((!!

  • Snoopy88 - 2011-08-24 12:28

    and so the chickens come home to roost... How tragic, how totally unnecessary. While this may well have been an unfortunate accident and we won't know without all the facts. Still... with such a precious cargo, surely you would ensure roadworthy buses, the best drivers, safety belts and adhering to the speed limit? My kids go to a private school and no action was taken against the driver who reportedly chatted on his phone while driving them around, weeving in and out of traffic at high speed. We all cry foul when its a tragedy of this scale but how many of you obey the traffic laws yourselves? Think about it the next time you jump that stop street.

      Daddy - 2011-08-24 12:33

      I agree with you. South Africans drive like maniacs with total disregard for traffic laws. The red light means hurry up and go to the other side as fast as you can. The texting on the phones whilst driving, let alone speaking. We need to take responsibilty of being behind the wheel of a car, this things can kill...and do kill.

  • rushi.nortje - 2011-08-24 12:30

    Ai, dis so hartseer!!!! My gebede is by al die mensies wat geraak is deur hierdie ramp. Mag die Here jul dra in hierdie moeilike tyd x

  • Chief Belebe - 2011-08-24 12:37

    May the Almighty God Himself who were there through out His ony son Jesus Christ acrimonious and barbaric temptations, be with all the children alive and passed on and help their bereaved families at this hour of need. Only God can and will give you strength to console and solace you all. As a parent too, my heart is at loss and broken and i cry with you. Yes of course it should have never happened, but who are we to question God's will? We'll engage you in our daily prayers.

      Ex Pat - 2011-08-24 13:51

      Sorry, I really don't mean to offend anyone, and I accept everyone is entitled to their own beliefs, but if it was really gods will for children to die like this, then just what kind of god is that? Oh one that I am not supposed to question I suppose? Right! Well it is my oppinion that god did not cause and neither has power to prevent such tragic things. However, if we all spent a little more effort on road safety and obeying the human laws which are already in place, be them driving skills or maintenance related, these children would still be alive right now. You can pray all you like, and maybe it will make you feel better and maybe there is nothing wrong with that in itself. All the prayer in the world won't stop the next tragedy, but respect for each other and the law just might!

  • aldrin.olivier - 2011-08-24 12:48

    This should not have happened, but it did. My thoughts are with those who lost loved ones. As I sit with a tear in my own eye, I remember 27/3/1985 - the first time I saw my father crying. God be with you all thru this time.

  • Bok Fan - 2011-08-24 13:23

    Horror The condolences of my family goes to all those affected.

  • Bankai - 2011-08-24 13:59

    Death has no shame but the lord is the only one who knows. condolences to the families of the deceased

  • mike mason - 2011-08-24 14:22

    Very sad news

  • ophike2 - 2011-08-24 15:13

    Very sad, my condolences to all the family and friends of those involve.

  • chrisvan - 2011-08-24 15:13

    What a terrible tragedy, children taken so young. My condolences and heartfelt sorrow to the relatives and friends of all. And to the driver. He will bear this burden with him for the rest of his life. Our children need protection. Please can someone start listening!

  • Mandi du Preez - 2011-08-24 15:33

    As a parent this is the worst News story one can read. Deceased are between the ages of 7 and 14 who would never have imagined when they left home this morning, they would not return. My deepest sympathies to all the families, friends, teachers and everyone affected by this terrible tragedy. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

  • Stephanie - 2011-08-24 17:23

    What an absolute tragedy! And to all the parents who won't be reunited with their little ones tonight, my heartfelt condolences.

  • jane.triegaardt - 2011-08-24 17:36

    These are the children of our own local workers. My entire being is aching for the families and parents of these children. We WILL be there for you, we will try to help you be strong. Please, please think of the these good people tonight. Jane, Knysna.

  • KnysnaSha - 2011-08-24 18:57

    There were 59 kids on that 32 seater bus, no doubt a reason why it stalled

  • An3 - 2011-08-24 19:20

    in one of your reports you said 16 people died, and on the news know it says only 15,"Cape Town - A school bus that plunged into a river in Knysna, killing 16 children, appears to have stalled and then rolled back into the water, Western Cape Transport MEC Robin Carlisle told News24. " Please don't report wrong facts, this is a very sensitive matter!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • andrew jones - 2011-08-24 21:24

    Where is the elusive barrier??

  • Ivan - 2011-08-24 22:04

    Government, testing stations, law enforcement, and the regulator of compulsory specifications is aware of problems with emergency exits. In my opinion this is murder and deserves the head of the minister of transport. Their inaction will kill many more. Shame on them!! 36 passenger dead so far in 2011 due to vehicle fires and drowning while trapped inside the vehicle

  • Isis - 2011-08-24 22:48

    My heart is broken! just read that there is a mother who lost 3 children on that bus! God be with her!

  • marnus.bezuidenhout - 2011-08-25 08:41

    It's a terrible tragedy.. However, when writing these articles, get some info correct, and show some respect, as appose to the race to be the first to get the post and your name up! Your article starts.. "Cape Town -" now Cape Town is a little over 470Km from here! I have not been in that area for some time, but also don't recall barriers there. Finally, I might be a Dutchman, but ending your sentence with all those and, and, and(s)?

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