Friday, April 12, 2024

45 Easter pilgrims from Botswana killed in SA bus crash, 8-year old survives

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Elvis Adjetey
Elvis Adjetey
Elvis Adjetey is an experienced African journalist who has worked with top media brands in Ghana where he is based.

South African authorities have confirmed the death of 45 pilgrims in a bus crash. They were travelling from Botswana for Easter festivities on Thursday.

Authorities said the sole survivor of the crash was an eight-year-old girl who is receiving treatment in hospital.

The police said the 31 female and 15 male Botswanan passengers died in the crash, after the driver lost control and collided with barriers on a bridge near Mamatlakala.

The bus went over the bridge and hit the ground below, catching fire, according to the authorities.

Some bodies were burned beyond recognition and others were trapped inside the debris around the scene of the crash.

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Authorities say they have started a “process to identify and repatriate the remains of the deceased”.

“Authorities are still combing the scene for more bodies,” the police said in a statement. “Only 34 bodies have been found thus far. Of the 34, only nine are identifiable.”

The victims were traveling from the village of Molepolole near the Botswana capital Gaborone, the statement added.

South Africa’s Transport Minister Sindisiwe Chikunga, who went to the scene of the incident, extended her “heartfelt condolences to the families affected by the tragic bus crash”.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time,” she said. “We continue to urge responsible driving at all times with heightened alertness as more people are on our roads this Easter weekend.”

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