Twins born after horror N1 crash

2011-02-16 10:22

Oudtshoorn - A woman with third-degree burns gave birth to a set of twins shortly after a gruesome minibus taxi accident outside Leeu-Gamka on the N1 on Tuesday morning.

However, another pregnant passenger who went into premature labour following the accident died at the scene, along with her baby.

Passengers shattered windows to get to safety, and the driver desperately fought against flames following the accident in which 11 people died - 10 of them at the scene.

The accident happened just after 03:00 on the N1, about 20km outside Leeu-Gamka in the direction of Beaufort West, on the notorious "death stretch".

The minibus taxi with 19 passengers was travelling from the Eastern Cape to Cape Town.

Emergency C-section

The woman's twins, a boy and a girl, were born following an emergency C-section in the Beaufort West hospital.

She sustained third-degree burns. She was believed to have been 36 weeks pregnant.

On Tuesday afternoon she was transported to Cape Town in the Red Cross's AMS fixed-wing aircraft, along with another woman who had also sustained third-degree wounds.

They were taken via ambulance to Tygerberg Hospital, said AMS spokesperson Vanessa Horn.

The twins both weighed more than 2kg at birth but remained in Beaufort West as there was no space in the Tygerberg burn unit for them, reported Kobus Pretorius.

The mother was connected to a ventilator and immediately brought to the burn unit, said Tygerberg Hospital spokesperson Laticia Pienaar.

She said on Tuesday evening that both women were in a critical condition. Only the mother was admitted to the burn unit.

Truck tyre burst

The accident occurred when a truck's tyre burst and a piece of metal landed in the road. The taxi drove over the metal, after which a spark ignited the petrol tank and the taxi caught fire, said Beaufort West police spokesperson Captain Dawid de Klerk.

Nine of the passengers got away by breaking windows and clambering to safety. The other ten were overwhelmed by the flames and died on the scene.

Six of the nine survivors were seriously injured and admitted to the Beaufort West hospital.

The truck driver and his two passengers were also seriously injured and admitted to the Beaufort West hospital.

None of the deceased had been identified by family by Tuesday evening. De Klerk said police didn't yet know who all of the survivors were.

Western Cape Minister of Transport and Public Works, Robin Carlisle, said on Tuesday that the accident was a terrible tragedy.

  • Perfume - 2011-02-16 11:03

    Congrats to the new Mom....condolences to the families that lost loved ones.....these taxis will continue speeding, and continue taking the lives of people.

      Angelicious - 2011-02-16 11:17

      The article doesn't mention a speeding taxi Perfume, so don't assume it was. Condolences to the families who tragically lost their loved ones.

      hf44083 - 2011-02-16 13:22

      I agree, there is no mention of speeding, although possibly was like most taxis, but hitting piece of metal could have had the same result driving at the speed limit, what horrific injuries and those poor people trapped in burning wreck, what a way to die.

      NoTaRaCiSt - 2011-02-16 13:48

      Didnt you read. the accident was caused by a truck whos tyre burst!!! My deepest condoldences to all the families out there! May Gofd be with you and may you find peace within!

  • jareddrak - 2011-02-16 11:24

    Exactly Perfume, i totally agree with you. Congrats to the new Mom, hopefully she'll be okay. Twin baby is a big challenge in her life :)

  • Pasha - 2011-02-16 12:01

    19 passengers.. a quantum is licences to carry 13 max where did all these people sit???

  • MrBigstuff - 2011-02-16 12:49


  • quinton.koekemoer - 2011-02-16 13:10

    stop taxis how many more people must die people are dieing more in taxis the the vires aids does its freaken sick

      hf44083 - 2011-02-16 13:24

      quinton, read what you have written - speaking Greek ? Try englilsh when commenting to get your point across

  • NoTaRaCiSt - 2011-02-16 13:49

    Didn't you read. the accident was caused by a truck whos Tyre burst!!! My deepest condolences to all the families out there! May God be with you and may you find peace within!

      videsh.maharaj88 - 2011-02-16 15:48

      It doesnt matter if the taxi was speeding or not, lives were lost. The way the accident is described, I'm sure speed was involved ... most people would have been able to avoid the metal if they were driving at 60km/h. South Africa will continue to have dangerous roads, due to the wreckless nature of taxi drivers ... why do we allow taxi drivers to protest and strike when the BRT comes into affect, and we not strike and protest when literally 1000's die due to wreckless taxi drivers?

      Tails - 2011-09-23 08:59

      @videsh.maharaj88: who drives 60km on the N1??

  • Felix - 2011-02-16 15:25

    Well Played ERS!

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