It was a deadly scene in Pretoria, just outside the capital, Cape Town in South Africa, when a total of 20 school aged children killed in a minibus crash accident.
The school aged children killed in the accident were both primary and secondary school students on board, after the vehicle burst into flames following a collision with a truck just north of the capital. The minibus collided with a truck on the single carriageway R25 in between Verena, Gauteng, and Bronkhorstpruit, which lies on the border of neighboring Mpumalanga province.
“Once the flames had been extinguished, paramedics found that approximately 13 children lying trapped inside the vehicle. Unfortunately, nothing could be done for the children and they were declared dead on the scene,” said the emergency medical service ER24. “A number of children had already been pulled out by “members of the community,” he further added.
A number of children, who were found trapped inside the vehicle by paramedics after the flames were put out, were declared dead at the scene.
ER24 and the Gauteng Education Department have since confirmed the number has risen to 20.
Several other pupils were hurt – some were reportedly dragged from the wreckage by passers-by.
Even though it is Africa’s most industrialized economy with a modern road network, South Africa has a dire road safety record. Road deaths rose to 235 during this year’s Easter weekend compared with 156 fatalities last year, transport officials said earlier on Friday.
Emergency services tweeted photographs of the badly damaged minibus, which they said exploded into a ball of fire after the crash. The photos have went viral and persons across the world, are sending their condolences to the families, schools and friends of the loss children.
Gauteng province’s education minister has described it as a “dark day.”
No word have yet been said of the president Jacob Zuma, but families are hoping he will make a speech or issue a statement in due time.