Returned SA Egypt bus blast victims: 'Thank God we didn't lose anyone'

2019-05-20 12:36
The bus shortly after the explosion. (AFP)

The bus shortly after the explosion. (AFP)

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Twenty Durbanites - all of them from The Bluff and Wentworth - were among the 25 South African tourists who were in a bus when a roadside bomb exploded near it in Egypt on Sunday, Daily News reported. 

Seven people - three of them South Africans - were injured in the attack. The bulk of the South African tourists who were involved in the bus explosion near Egypt's Giza Pyramids arrived back home on Monday, News24 reported.

Twenty-four of the 28 tourists arrived at OR Tambo International Airport on Monday morning, Department of International Relations and Cooperation spokesperson Ndivhuwo Mabaya told News24.

"Four have remained behind in Egypt. Three are being treated in hospital, while one lady remained behind to assist her [injured] husband," Mabaya said.

Eric Apelgren, head of international relations at the eThekwini municipality said no one had serious injuries, according to Daily News.

Among the injured was Father Mike Foley, the spiritual director of St Francis Xavier Catholic parish in The Bluff. The parish had organised the trip to Egypt. About 14 people from the parish were aboard the bus. It was their last day on the tour, Daily News reported.

"Seven people were injured. Thank God we did not lose anyone. People's prayers and thoughts are with them," Apelgren told Daily News.

Aubrey Snyman, eThekwini ward councillor for Wentworth, said part of the group was from Christ the King Roman Catholic Church in Cycas Road.

They were on a pilgrimage

He reportedly said that they were on a pilgrimage and tour of Egypt. They were escorted by Egyptian security forces to the airport, and from what he heard, two of them suffered injuries to their eyes.

The community was in shock and the victims were quite traumatised, Snyman added.

Earlier, AFP reported that 17 people were injured when an explosion rocked a tourist bus near Egypt's Giza Pyramids, according to officials.

The wounded included three South African tourists and Egyptians, officials reportedly said on Sunday. There were no reports of deaths.

The three wounded South African tourists would remain in hospital, South African ambassador to Egypt, Vusi Mavimbela said on Sunday.

Pictures on social media showed at least one person covered in blood and a bus with some of its windows blown out or shattered.

The bomb went off in a road near the Grand Egyptian Museum, which is still under construction and not open to tourists.

Sunday's blast came as Egypt's vital tourism industry showed signs of recovery after years in the doldrums because of the political turmoil and violence that followed a 2011 uprising that toppled former leader Hosni Mubarak, AFP reported.

"The Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Lindiwe Sisulu, wishes those admitted to hospital a speedy recovery and has also directed South Africa's ambassador to Egypt to give them all the necessary support," Mabaya said.

Read more on:    egypt
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