A damaged bus is seen at the site of a blast near a new museum being built close to the Giza pyramids in Cairo, Egypt. Picture: Reuters/Amr Abdallah Dalsh/File Photo

Durban - Mayor Zandile Gumede has sent well wishes to the 25 South African - 20 of them from Durban - who were injured during an explosion on their tour bus in Egypt on Sunday.

The 25 South Africans are worshippers from Catholic churches in Wentworth, Bluff, Amanzimtoti and Benoni. They were all on an annual pilgrimage to the Holy lands with a local priest Father Mike Folley. 

 “We have learnt about this sad incident that involves a large delegation of our Durbanites, who were on a pilgrimage. We pray for a speedy recovery from this traumatic experience,” saidGumede. 

“We appreciate the responsiveness of Minister Lindiwe Sisulu and our South African Ambassador to Egypt, Ambassador Vusi Mavimbela in dealing with the situation. We are also happy to learn that arrangements have been made for 23 of the injured to be returned to South Africa, while three will remain behind due to the extent of their injuries. We sympathise with the affected families and are available to offer assistance where required,” she said. 

The victims were on the last day of their tour of Egypt's pyramids when the explosion rocked the bus they were travelling. 

Media reports state that the explosion occurred near the Grand Egyptian Museum close to the Giza pyramids just outside of Cairo. 

They landed at the OR. Tambo International Aiport and are expected to be in Durban later on Monday. 

Eric Apelgren, head of international relations at the eThekwini Municipality said no one had serious injuries. 

Among the injured was Father Foley the spiritual director of St Francis Xavier Catholic  Parish on the Bluff. The parish had organised the trip to Egypt. About 14 from the parish were onboard the bus. It was there last day on the tour.

"Seven people were injured. Thank God we did not lose anyone. Peoples prayers and thoughts are with them," Apelgren said.  
Aubrey Snyman, eThekwini ward councillor of Wentworth, said part of the group where from Christ the King Roman Catholic Church in Cycas Road. 

"They were on a pilgrimage and tour of Egpyt. They were escorted by Egyptian security forces to the airport. From what I heard two of them suffered injuries to the eye. One person stayed behind with his wife," he said. 

Snyman said the announcement of the incident was made by the deacon during a church service on Sunday night. 

Most of the Durban victims were between the ages of 40 and 70 years old said Snyman. 

"The community was left in shock and we can only pray for them to gain their health. The victims are quite traumatised. You often hear of these incidents but when it affects the people closer to home you realise life is short. They were innocent people. The community wait for their arrival. They were close friends of mine. I knew them personally," Snyman said. 

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