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Driver missing after 12 die in accident

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feb 15 crime scene

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nvestigators from Gauteng are en route to the Midlands to look into the causes of the derailment of a train, carrying explosive chemical butane, outside Pietermaritzburg. Stock photo: Bongiwe Mchunu

Gauteng - The driver of a truck involved in an accident which claimed the lives of 12 people in Boipatong on Thursday is missing, police said.

He disappeared shortly after his truck collided head-on with a minibus at the intersection of Houtkop and Boy Louw roads in Vanderbijlpark, said Constable Thembeka Koago.

“There were twelve passengers in the minibus when the accident happened... eleven of whom died on impact,” she said.

The twelfth passenger died in hospital.

Koago said a man and woman who were travelling in the truck were also seriously injured.

“They told police that the truck driver fled the scene after the accident,” she said.

“We are hoping to get more information from them including... the whereabouts of the truck driver, because we received a tip-off that he was also rushed to hospital in a private vehicle.”

It was believed that the minibus was transporting employees from a company in Klerksdorp.

Koago said it appeared as if both vehicles may have crossed over the intersection at the wrong time, leading to the extensive impact of a head-on collision.

Emfuleni mayor Greta Hlongwane, who went to the scene, sent her condolences to the families of the deceased.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the families during this difficult time of mourning and sadness,” said Hlongwane.

She also wished a speedy recovery for the two injured people, whom she went to visit upon leaving the scene.

Gauteng premier Nomvula Mokonyane has described Thursday as “another dark day” for Gauteng.

She requested the transport authorities to leave no stone unturned to establish the cause of the crash.

“We appeal to drivers in our province, especially those who transport the public, to always exercise extra caution and obey all rules of the road,” she said. - Sapa


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