Another truck crashes while carrying farmworkers

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The site of the crash (Supplied by Drakenstein Farm Watch)
The site of the crash (Supplied by Drakenstein Farm Watch)
Drakenstein Farm Watch
  • A truck has crashed in the Western Cape while transporting about 80 farmworkers.
  • Two people were seriously injured and several sustained moderate and minor injuries.
  • Twelve ambulances and two rescue vehicles were at the scene.

A truck transporting about 80 farmworkers crashed, near Paarl in the Western Cape on Wednesday morning, leaving at least two people seriously injured. 

Officials in two rescue vehicles and 12 ambulances attended to the injured.

The Western Cape government's emergency medical services spokesperson, Deanna Bessick, said the truck overturned on the R44, before the Durbanville offramp, in the direction of Wellington. 

farmworkers
The crash was attended to by multiple ambulances (Supplied by Drakenstein Farm Watch)
News24 Drakenstein Farm Watch
Farm workers
(Supplied by Western Cape health department EMS)
News24 Western Cape health department EMS

"Two patients are seriously injured, 27 sustained moderate to serious injuries and 51 sustained minor injuries," said Bessick.

READ | One woman killed as almost 40 farmworkers flung off the back of a truck in crash near Worcester

Representatives from volunteer organisation Drakenstein Farm Watch were among those on the scene to help paramedics. They said it was the biggest accident they attended to. 

The Agricultural, Food, Fishing and Retail Industry Workers' Union called for a thorough investigation into the cause of a crash which occurred at the beginning of the year near Worcester, which left one worker dead.

READ HERE | Union wants 'thorough' probe after woman killed in crash, farmworkers flung off back of truck

A preliminary report on the crash indicated that the driver lost control ahead of Wednesday's accident, according to the Western Cape's transport department spokesperson, Jandré Bakker.

There has been a drive to find ways of making farmworkers' transport safer after farmers said they struggled with the cost and availability of buses.

Billy Claasen Executive Director: Rural and Farmworkers Development Organization was dismayed by the latest crash, saying the president and the ministers of agriculture, and labour, should put an end to this mode of transport. 

"We have always maintained that farmworkers are the poorest, most marginalized and at risk workers, labouring under atrocious working and living conditions," said Claasen. 

"We have pleaded for years with the President to address the situation of farmworkers, but it seems that farmworkers are not on his agenda." 


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