The deadly multi-vehicle pile-up that occurred on the N12 East near Alberton should not be described as an accident, Gauteng transport MEC Ismail Vadi said on Wednesday.
Vadi said labelling it as an accident was simply a euphemism.
"This is not an accident, it's a crash," he said. Four people were killed when a truck smashed into almost 50 cars in early morning traffic. At least 16 others were injured.
#JHBTraffic AVOID HUGE delays RT @MedixGauteng: Massive accident N12 East before Voortrekker rd in Alberton. pic.twitter.com/dzsmdLGFML — EWN Traffic (@EWNTraffic) October 14, 2014
Describing the crash scene, Vadi said it looked like a bomb had exploded, overturning some cars.
He was speaking at the Charlotte Maxeke Academic Hospital in Johannesburg where three of the injured were being treated.
Two of them were critical while another was in a serious condition.
Trauma specialist Lizel Taylor who was on duty when the crash happened on Tuesday, said they expected a lengthy hospital stay for the injured people.
"Anything could happen from now," she said.
One of the injured people was on a ventilator after sustaining injuries to the chest, heart, and lungs.
Another patient was admitted with heavy bleeding on the head and suffered internal bleeding to the liver and chest.
He had undergone three operations since being admitted shortly after the crash.
The third patient suffered fractures to the arm. He was to undergo brain scans but was alert.
Vadi said exposing the victims to the media would put undue pressure on them.
"Two of them are heavily sedated. They are not in a condition to be seen by the public," said Vadi, adding that they were in a state of shock.
The crash coincided with "transport month".
Vadi said it had "put a damper on the campaign and weakened the spirit".
The truck driver, who has since been arrested for the collision, claimed his brakes failed.
Vadi echoed the sentiments of Transport Minister Dipuo Peters who called for the truck's owners to also be brought to book if this was found to be true.
"In my personal opinion, there should be dual accountability," Vadi said.
This was perhaps one of the worst accidents the province had seen.