- A crash on the M41 highway in KwaZulu-Natal involving a truck and 49 other vehicles has left more than 20 people injured.
- Drivers and passengers suffered "moderate to serious" injuries, according to officials.
- KZN police say the driver is on the run and a case of reckless and negligent driving has been opened.
The police in KwaZulu-Natal have opened a case of reckless and negligent driving after an out-of-control truck ploughed into vehicles on the M41 highway, heading towards the M4 in Umhlanga on Monday morning.
At least 22 people sustained injuries, ranging from moderate to serious.
A pregnant woman who was injured was airlifted to a nearby hospital.
Advanced Life Support paramedics spokesperson Garrith Jamieson said patients were treated on the scene before they were taken to various Durban hospitals.
The accident caused major congestion. Several roads were closed amid rescue and clean-up operations.
According to the KZN transport department, the incident involved 49 vehicles.
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KZN Transport MEC Sipho Hlomuka said: "The truck is suspected to have experienced brake failure."
He said the police would look into allegations "of a total failure of the truck's braking system, the condition of the driver, and various other defects".
If investigations revealed that the truck was not roadworthy, the truck owner could also face charges, Hlomuka said.
Scores of people gathered at the accident scene amid speculation that the truck was carrying stolen chrome ore, a mineral resource used to manufacture stainless steel and other consumer products.
KZN police spokesperson, Thenjiswa Ngcobo, said the truck driver had fled and had not been found by Monday afternoon.
She did not respond to questions relating to the cargo found in the truck.
A witness described the scene as "scary".
"I was driving down on the M41, making my way to work, and traffic was moving slowly. I looked in my mirror and I saw the truck losing control from the top as it hit multiple vehicles. The impact was major and everybody was shocked and frightened," she said.
Nkanyiso Mdlalose, another motorist, said he saw a car almost "fly through the air".
He said he and his colleague ran to assist the occupants.
"There were two ladies stuck in the car. We were worried that the car would catch fire, so we helped pull them out," he said.
Authorities said no fatalities had been reported.