Pupils injured in bus crash tore up uniforms to use on wounds

2015-05-27 09:06
Madelein Plaatjies and her daughter Shakira van Rooyen, a Grade 11 Hoërskool Cloetesville pupil stand outside a Stellenbosch hospital. (Netwerk24)

Madelein Plaatjies and her daughter Shakira van Rooyen, a Grade 11 Hoërskool Cloetesville pupil stand outside a Stellenbosch hospital. (Netwerk24)

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Cape Town - A horrific school bus crash in Stellenbosch left one child’s arm pinned under the bus while other injured children tore up their school uniforms and used it on injured limbs, Netwerk24 reported on Wednesday.

The bus, which was carrying 31 Hoërskool Cloetesville pupils on Tuesday morning, crashed and overturned on a hill about a kilometre from the school in Welgevonden outside Stellenbosch.

“The bus was driving quickly. When it turned a corner, there was a car in front of us. The driver stepped on the brakes, but the bus couldn’t stop.

“He swerved to the left and drove up the hill along the road. The bus overturned. I’ve never been so scared,” said Gaylene Khoaene, a Grade 9 pupil.

Another Grade 9 pupil, Stephanus Tyutu, said: “Everything happened so fast. I remember how the bus suddenly braked. What happened after that, I don’t know.

Uniforms used on bloody wounds

“When I came to, I was sitting outside the bus. Some of the pupils tore their shirts and trousers and used it to stop the bleeding.”

Michael Breda, 40, a taxi driver and one of the first people on the scene, told Netwerk24 what he saw: “The bus driver was lying on his stomach next to the overturned bus. The pupils were standing around, others were sitting, some were lying down.

“Some of the pupils began crying hysterically while others, clearly shocked, tried to wipe the blood from their faces. There were so many wounded I didn’t know where to start helping. One can only thank God that no one died.”

All 31 pupils sustained injuries. The child whose arm got stuck under the bus was airlifted to Tygerberg Hospital.

The other pupils were taken to hospitals in Paarl and Stellenbosch.

According to Western Cape Department of Transport spokesperson Jacques Mostert, the bus was removed from the scene at 13:00 and taken to the Stellenbosch test centre where the brakes were examined.

Read more on:    cape town  |  accidents

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