Durban - Five children aged between eight and 12 were marked absent on the first day of school yesterday after the minibus taxi transporting them collided with a car and they had to be taken to hospital instead.

Rescue Care Emergency Services spokesman, Garrith Jamieson, said the children were scattered on Himalaya Road, in Merebank, when paramedics arrived.

He said the accident happened at about 7.30am – about the time the children’s parents would have expected them to be assembling for their first morning prayer at various schools in Wentworth and Merebank.

“All the children were assessed and treated on scene before being taken by ambulance to a nearby facility,” he said.

Police spokesman, Colonel Vincent Mdunge, said a case of reckless and negligent driving had been opened. No arrests had been made.

Meanwhile, 11 passengers escaped death yesterday when a minibus taxi rolled and landed on its roof at the junction of Richmond and St Francis roads in Mariannhill, near Pinetown.

Two other vehicles were involved in the accident, but suffered minor damage.

“Paramedics assessed the scene and found that 11 people had been injured with two sustaining serious injuries,” said Jamieson. The patients were stabilised before being taken to various hospitals. - Daily News