Major probe launched after bus crash

2013-03-15 22:11
The bodies of bus crash victims lay at the accident scene near De Doorns. (Jana Potgieter, Valleier)

The bodies of bus crash victims lay at the accident scene near De Doorns. (Jana Potgieter, Valleier)

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Johannesburg - A major investigation has been launched into the cause of a bus accident in the Western Cape where 24 people were killed, p Transport MEC Robin Carlisle said on Friday.

The bus was on its way to Cape Town on Friday morning, when the driver lost control of the vehicle and it veered off the N1 on the Hex River Pass, near De Doorns.

"Early reports from the surviving passengers indicated brake failure as the main reason for the crash," Carlisle said in a statement.

"The Provincial Regulatory Entity will investigate the legal status of the bus including the validity of the operating licence, and whether the Certificate of Fitness is still valid."

He said the bus was registered in the Western Cape and was owned by Atlantic City Liners.

Transport Minister Ben Martins called for a speedy conclusion to the investigation into the accident.

In a statement Martins said he was saddened by the accident and unnecessary loss of life.

"We repeat our call to motorists and all road users to be vigilant on the roads at all times.

"Our heartfelt and sincere condolences go to the families of the deceased and we wish all those who are injured a speedy recovery."

Various political parties and government also expressed their condolences to the friends and families of the deceased on Friday.

Democratic Alliance leader in the province Ivan Meyer expressed the party's condolences and sympathy and wished those injured a speedy recovery.

"Our hearts and prayers are with them," he said in a statement.

"If it is determined, however, that the accident could have been avoided in any way, I will endeavour to ensure that the proper action gets taken."

"This is an unfortunate incident. Drivers are urged to be vigilant on the road and obey all traffic laws," said acting government spokesperson Phumla Williams.

The Inkatha Freedom Party also sent its condolences to the families of those who had died.

"This is a terrible tragedy. We urge people to be extra cautious when it is raining and to follow all the rules of the road," IFP spokesperson Petros Sithole said.

"The traffic cops and police should investigate whether the bus was overloaded and if so, we would expect the necessary criminal charges to be laid against the bus driver."

ER24 spokesperson Vanessa Jackson said the double-decker bus was crushed up against the side of the mountain along the pass.

Provincial health department spokesperson Faiza Steyn said two of the 24 who died were children.

Eight people were critically injured, three of them children; 14 were seriously injured; and 44 others sustained minor to moderate injuries.

Carlisle said emergency services were on the scene. The injured were moved to various hospitals and clinics around the province depending on the seriousness of their injuries.

Read more on:    da  |  ifp  |  robin carlisle  |  cape town  |  accidents

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