PICS AND VIDEOS: Six-hour rescue operation to retrieve bodies and survivors of fatal Durban taxi crash
Eight of the group were seriously injured.
It is thought the group were on the way to their Sunday church service when the accident happened near KwaNgcolosi in the Inanda Dam area outside Durban at about 9am.
Residents were alerted to the accident by the sound of the taxi rolling down the hill, followed by the screams of the injured women.
According to residents, the taxi had been travelling from KwaNyuswa to Pinetown on the narrow gravel road because of road closures occasioned by the Amashova cycling event. The gravel road would have led the taxi to a nearby tar road, which would have taken the passengers into Hillcrest.
Six people were killed instantly.
Garrith Jamieson of Rescue Care said paramedics were forced to climb a rocky 2km route to reach the badly damaged taxi, which was lying on its side when they got to the scene. He said there was no road access to the crash site.
According to Jamieson, the passengers had been ejected from the taxi as it rolled down the hill. Paramedics spent six hours assisting the injured and retrieving bodies.
In another accident on Sunday, two people were killed in a collision on the N3 near Estcourt.
Reports from the scene were that one of the two vehicles involved burst into flames.
Paramedics who responded to the accident found that a man and woman had died, including one of the occupants in the vehicle which caught alight.
Netcare spokesperson Shawn Herbst said another man had sustained serious injuries and was treated on the scene.
Once stabilised, the man was taken by ambulance to hospital for further treatment. Both accidents are being investigated by the police.
Meanwhile, a 52-year-old male cyclist suffered a heart attack just outside Hillcrest while participating in the Amashova race. He was taken to hospital, where he died.
eThekwini mayor Mxolisi Kaunda reacted with shock to news of the deaths.
“The loss of one life is one too many. We send our heartfelt condolences to families, relatives and friends of the deceased. Our hearts are with the bereaved families during their time of grief,” he said.