Knysna school bus in deadly plunge

2011-08-24 09:52

Cape Town - A school bus with at least 35 children on board went over a bridge and into a river in Knysna on Wednesday morning, leaving at least 10 dead and many injured.

According to police spokesperson Captain Malcolm Potje, at least 10 bodies have been recovered so far.

Divers are searching for more bodies.

AMS and ER24 are on the scene to rescue the injured.

The bus apparently went into a river in Rheedendal, Knysna.

- Were you there? Send us your eyewitness accounts

  • johncarlos.biza - 2011-08-24 09:54

    So depressing! RIP and strength to the families

      Shelley Pembroke - 2011-08-24 09:57

      Definitely. It's so unbelievably tragic. How do you tell their parents?

      willieman - 2011-08-24 10:43

      Arrest the min of transport and fire all the metro police,mec for transport in that region.They are all sleeping on the job unleashing this killer buses and taxis on our roads.

      Taboo - 2011-08-24 10:46

      Who thought these parents would wake today with such a terrible tragedy ahead. I really feel for the families.....

      willieman - 2011-08-24 10:47

      There is one silly if not stupid,who keeps on ticking on dislike for everybody,this is not a joke Mr insensetive

      marguerite - 2011-08-24 10:48

      Shelly, I agree, how do you break the news? I would break down before they do. Very sad. Kids are not meant to die before they parents, life will never be the same.

      tonno - 2011-08-24 10:50

      @everyone - who are the muppets giving all these comments a thumbs down? Morons.

      Steen - 2011-08-24 10:55

      Parents must stay away from School buses, the owners don’t care about the kids but money only, and they don’t service their buses or taxi. Please drive your kids to school. RIP, innocent lives has been lost

      LiciousDee - 2011-08-24 10:55

      Who keeps disliking the condolences messages? some people are really sick:( May God give the families strenght for their pain and may He give the injured enought strenght to recover. - 2011-08-24 11:12

      I live in Knysna and have been listening to the ambulance sirens and helicopters all morning. It is very depressing. What I find even more depressing is this: The first post was "So depressing! RIP and strength to the families" and 3 sick phucs actually gave this a thumbs down.

      Dianne - 2011-08-24 11:47

      OMW - I just cannot bear hearing about children dying :( It breaks my heart in tiny pieces.... how does a parent recover from this !

  • Felix - 2011-08-24 09:55

    :'(. Tragic news. My thoughts are with the families.

  • Currie_Mafia - 2011-08-24 09:57

    Sad....I feel for the parents of these kids... :(

  • Ryan77 - 2011-08-24 09:57

    Dear Lord, this is so sad!!

  • qmglover - 2011-08-24 09:57

    My heart goes out to all these families who have had kids on that but and may God be upon their souls should there be survivors still....RIP to the 10 deceased...May the Lord be with your families with funeral arragements...

  • Lerato - 2011-08-24 09:57

    This is so sad! May the Lord be with their families and may the find comfort in Him! May theirs beautiful souls RIP!

      Virginia - 2011-08-24 10:35

      Beautiful word Lerato.God Bless have an safe and peaceful day.

  • Hochang - 2011-08-24 09:58

    This so sad, my condolences to the family and friends and I wish those who are injured a speedy recovery.

  • Stella13 - 2011-08-24 09:59

    Haai shame, thats freakin terrible!! Yesterday the shark attack and today poor school children. Thinking of the families. :(

  • ZA_R - 2011-08-24 09:59

    How Tragic and depressing, RIP little ones, Condolences to the families and friends

  • Jenny - 2011-08-24 10:01

    So very upsetting - RIP little ones and strength to the families

  • Michelle - 2011-08-24 10:02

    May God be with the families.

  • nicci.eaglestone - 2011-08-24 10:03

    RIP little ones... my condolences to the families. So sad.

  • Fiona - 2011-08-24 10:05

    Traffic accidents and fatalities in South Africa are reaching epidemic proportions. It is time there was a system in SA like UK where vehicles of a certain age have to obtain a roadworthy certificate before they can renew their car licence each year. Some of the vehicles on our roads are death-traps....Deepest sympathy to those involved

      Peter - 2011-08-24 10:13

      @Fiona. These busses go through a COF(certificate of fitness)at least once a year.Still it is very sad.

      jen - 2011-08-24 10:24

      @Peter, you honestly cannot say that. A lot of schools do not own their own transport and hire busses for outings/tours. My kids went to a top school in Jhb two years ago and their very fancy looking rented bus got pulled off for being completely unroadworthy.

      sinvol - 2011-08-24 10:27

      @Jen It is by law and before you get your new license you must do a COF at the department

      Lerato - 2011-08-24 10:31

      @Peter did they say the bus was unroadworthy? Didnt see that, so dont be quick to blame!

      MissGremlinSays - 2011-08-24 10:36

      I'm with Jen on this - just because it is the law, doesn't mean the operators adhere to it. Just ask SA Road link about the law... ps. Operations at SA Roadlink are winding down due to overexposure on insurance and legal - but a new service has been started by same owners. Jozi express. Word to the wise, new busses don't improve shoddy business practice, and it is unlikely that these same owners will suddenly develop respect for life...

      Proefleser - 2011-08-24 10:41

      For Pete's sake stop bickering! Children were killed here, have you no compassion?

      jen - 2011-08-24 10:44

      @poefleser. bickering? we are discussing a very relevant topic here. Get real.

      Ex Pat - 2011-08-24 10:51

      Regardless of the fact that the law requires Annual COF, it is still failing to achieve the required level of safety. Obviously there are many factors involved, driver skills, road conditions all play a part and need to be addressed, but a good place to start would be with much stricter vehicle maintenance and enforcement, COF or not, these are currently not even close to European standards. How many times do we see busses and heavy commercial vehicles broken down on the road, I see it daily in Durban, I also drive many miles a year in Europe, where to see an accident scene or a breakdown is significantly rarer, yet they generally have considerably worse weather particularly in the winter months and many more vehicles on the road. It has to be time to change something and that may well need to start with road users attitude. Condolences to the families, absolutely tragic and unfortunately probably very avoidable.

      Ex Pat - 2011-08-24 13:26

      I wonder why I would get thumbs down for suggesting better law enforcement and regulation of safety matters, surely all good citizens would want to improve safety and conditions for all people? Without wishing to pre-empt the findings of this particular investigation, it is very likely that there will be 14 sets of parents who will be wishing this had already been the case. But yet clearly there are those in society who think otherwise, why I wonder, motivated by cost savings perhaps? I really don't know, but it sure is a very strange world we live in, when human life isn't the most important item on the agenda.

  • darkwing - 2011-08-24 10:06

    This is terrible! How do you survive this as a parent?

  • Salvation - 2011-08-24 10:06

    Condolences to those who have lost a loved one, God's strength in the speedy recovery to those injured, May the injury/s sustained not influence the rest of your lives.

  • NuttyZA - 2011-08-24 10:07

    very tragic and sad

  • Homegrown - 2011-08-24 10:08

    Absolutely tragic! RIP and strength to the families.

  • FRpower - 2011-08-24 10:10

    RIP poor kids. And another bus involved in taking lives,this needs to be dealt with urgently.

  • nn.prv - 2011-08-24 10:11

    Oh So Sad. RIP

  • eckhardtm - 2011-08-24 10:11

    Oh my ..this is sooo sad..RIP little angels - safe in the arms of Jesus...condolences to the families ;-( times like this it makes me try to understand the meaning of the word "accident"?

  • Kim - 2011-08-24 10:11

    RIP...As a father of twin girls I would not know how to cope with this. My heart goes out to the families. God Bless the little ones who have been lost.

  • Kevin King - 2011-08-24 10:13

    Busses and taxis in this country are bad news! Condolences, terrible story!

  • Whutan - 2011-08-24 10:13

    R.I.P Young ones and the driver....not the first victims and surely not the last on that dreaded road.....until something is done.....

  • Lisa - 2011-08-24 10:17

    This is just so sad... how many more tragic event are we going to have in this country. prayers to all the families and the knysna community

  • jen - 2011-08-24 10:20

    Tragic, tragic. The poor parents and fellow students - my heart goes out to all of you.

  • spiderkzn - 2011-08-24 10:20

    RIP they are in my prayer :(.

  • tyronism - 2011-08-24 10:22

    That is really hectic... Im from Knysna and lived in Rheenendal for years.can believe it. so sad

  • x - 2011-08-24 10:22

    This reminds me of the Westdene bus disaster in 1985 when42 kids died in a similar way in Johannesburg :(

      flummoxed - 2011-08-24 11:22

      The memory of that dreadful accident came to mind the moment I knew of this latest tragedy. Really and truly horrifying

      Susannomore - 2011-08-24 11:35

      I remember that day. I walked into the house after school and my Mum gave me a massive hug. She was so upset. Most of those kids were my age.

  • Ants - 2011-08-24 10:23


  • dane - 2011-08-24 10:25


  • carmen.january - 2011-08-24 10:25

    Condolences to the families of those lost. Very tragic

  • chantelle.jolliffe - 2011-08-24 10:27

    How sad.

  • Reasonable - 2011-08-24 10:28

    so sad indeed. May de Lord give strength to their families.

      flummoxed - 2011-08-24 11:24

      Amen to that..

  • MissGremlinSays - 2011-08-24 10:30

    Any reasonable country, would make it compusory for seat belts for each passenger in a school bus.

      Jady Hewitt - 2011-08-24 10:33

      And that would help exactly HOW when they land in a river??? Probably prevent more from getting out in my humble opinion!

      Jax - 2011-08-24 10:36

      Most schools insist on seat belts, but in this case it may not have helped. Such a tragedy. RIP little ones.

  • Gerald - 2011-08-24 10:32

    another ten dead, probably more and again school children. all this on the day before we remember the 1st anniversary of the blackheath taxi/train collision. and i can empathise with the families of the knysna amount of sympathies can ease your pain and loss.

  • richardhamilton250 - 2011-08-24 10:32

    Our thoughts and prayers go to those families affected by this aweful trajedy, May they all RIP !

  • Susannomore - 2011-08-24 10:33

    This is devistating. My condolenses to all concerned. When I worked at a hospital as PRO, I once had be present when a mother was told that her child had died. It remains one of the worst days of my life

  • Johnny - 2011-08-24 10:33

    this is terrible, may their souls rest in peace

  • Medic T - 2011-08-24 10:34

    My condolences to the Families, absolutely tragic. RIP little ones you are with GOD now and Safe.

  • Virginia - 2011-08-24 10:34

    How tragic, my condolences to all those parents. Now our bus drivers really need to be educated about the load and gold that they are transporting around. I am so sorry for the lose of life, no wander some mothers transport their own children on these outings.

  • hester.ferrezuelo - 2011-08-24 10:35

    Please take a moment and just pray for these families. It is so tragic. Brings back so many memories of the Westdene accident. My thoughts with you all.

  • burtfred - 2011-08-24 10:36

    This is terribly sad. It reminds me of the Westdene dam incident in 1985, which I unfortunately witnessed. 42 children lost their lives. The driver, William Horne, claimed that he had "suffered a blackout" just before the bus went into the water. He was acquitted of culpable homicide.

      burtfred - 2011-08-24 10:53

      Why the "thumbsdown" for my comment?

      FRpower - 2011-08-24 10:58

      Some idiot with a keyboard burtfred,just another pathetic troll.

  • vanetia.mentor - 2011-08-24 10:38

    oh condolences :'(

  • Papsak - 2011-08-24 10:38

    @Sinvol, your comment is so insensitive, are you aware?

  • Papsak - 2011-08-24 10:41

    @Sinvol, why don't you go to Plett and spend time playing in the water? Maybe the white shark can help get us out of our missery. You know what I mean, that's if you have this thing called brains.

      jen - 2011-08-24 11:07

      Sinful deleted his comment. Hopefully, he and his cronies are only ticking on the thumbs down now.

  • immelde - 2011-08-24 10:41

    I pray God's hand over the kids that are in any bad conditions and I pray God gives peace to those who have a loss to their families... x

  • janmy - 2011-08-24 10:41

    Something needs to be done about these horendous bus accidents. Nearly one a day

  • Tomas - 2011-08-24 10:47

    RIP Little ones. Your stars will shine in heaven.

      flummoxed - 2011-08-24 11:27

      Lovely sentiment Tomas

  • Ammie - 2011-08-24 10:48

    Bloody bus drivers!!! My heart goes out to the family and that poor surviving childrend.

  • Johann - 2011-08-24 10:49

    RIP Liitle ones!