Girl, 10, critical after trying in vain to save twin sisters from bus fire

2015-11-16 14:15
Refiloe and Reneiloe Mofokeng (Photo supplied)

Refiloe and Reneiloe Mofokeng (Photo supplied)

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Bloemfontein - A 10-year-old girl is in a critical condition after she desperately tried to rescue her twin toddler sisters from the flames of a school bus that caught fire.

Refiloe and Reneiloe, both 3, died, while their brave sister sustained "terrible facial burns" as she tried in vain to save their lives.

“We got there late, and when we arrived, I saw my children already on the ground and covered and I knew they were already gone,” their father, Sifa Johannes Mofokeng, told News24.

Mofokeng said five of his children aged 3, 10,15 and 20 were in the bus that was travelling from a crèche at the Sibonakaliso Combined School between Warden and Harrismith. It was transporting 22 pupils when it caught fire on Friday afternoon.

“I will miss them so much, they were funny and naughty and I just loved having them around. Whenever I was busy they would come to disturb me so that I can play with them.”

He said not only is he saddened by the passing of the twins, but he is also worried about his 10-year-old who is now critical in hospital, trying to save the twins from the blaze.   

“On Saturday we heard she was getting better.”

Mofokeng, who is the Chairperson of the School Governing Body, said it is hard for his wife to cope with the loss of her children. 

“Whenever she thinks about them and what happened she cries all the time,” he said. 

Free State education department spokesperson Howard Ndaba said 19 pupils who were injured were currently being treated at Thebe Hospital in Harrismith for further medical attention.  

“The sister to the late twins was transferred to another hospital due to terrible facial burns she sustained while trying to save the twins.

"Apparently the bus driver could not apply the brakes and there was a terrible smell coming from the engine," he said.  

The funeral will be held at Roman Catholic School in the Harrismith district on November 21.  

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  accidents

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