Overloading suspected in Westonaria school bus crash

2018-01-23 21:57
An accident in which at least 100 schoolchildren were injured. (Supplied by ER24)

An accident in which at least 100 schoolchildren were injured. (Supplied by ER24)

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Johannesburg – The bus involved in a crash in Westonaria on Tuesday was allegedly overloaded, the spokesperson for the mayor of the West Rand District Municipality said, as parents rushed to hospitals to visit their injured children.

According to Tshidiso Tlharipe, spokesperson for Mayor Mzi Khumalo, the bus, which had 123 children on board, was filled beyond capacity. It was not immediately clear by how many children the bus was overloaded with.

"I am worried about all of this information," said Tlharipe after visiting the crash scene on the N12 in Westonaria, south west of Johannesburg.

"From the information we got, the bus was stationary and a truck came behind and hit the bus," he said.

READ: Around 100 schoolchildren injured in Westonaria bus crash

An accident report would be obtained and the provincial department of transport would be asked to investigate alleged overloading, but in the meantime, the priority was to reunite worried parents and their children.

The children were from Izanokhanyo Primary School in Simunye, Westonaria, and ranged in age from six to early teens.

Tlharipe said the parents were very traumatised by the crash and the municipality was assisting them to find out which hospital their children had been taken to.

Boy seriously injured

Medical personnel had triaged them to Leratong Hospital in Krugersdorp, and Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital in Soweto.

He said 68 children were injured, and for 67 the injuries were minor.

There was concern over one boy who had to be airlifted for advanced emergency care.

ER24 spokesperson Ineke van Huyssteen said the boy was airlifted soon after paramedics arrived at the scene shortly before 16:00.

Everybody was on tenterhooks, waiting to hear if he was going to be alright, said Tlharipe.

From Wednesday counsellors would sit with the children to help them cope with the incident.

In the meantime, Fred Nel, DA member of the provincial legislature called on Gauteng roads and transport MEC Ismail Vadi to conduct a full investigation into the crash.

Read more on:    johannesburg  |  accidents

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