Johannesburg - No fewer than 113 people were injured in a number of collisions across the country in just four hours on Wednesday morning.
The most serious accident was Pietermaritzburg where 69 people were injured when a tractor and trailer overturned on the D408. ER24 spokesman Werner Vermaak said paramedics from ER24 and numerous other emergency services arrived on the scene at about 8.30am, where they found the occupants of the trailer with various injuries.
"Several of the injured were found lying near the trailer while some were standing around on scene,” he said. "Five people sustained moderate injuries while 64 sustained minor injuries which included scrapes and bruises.”
Vermaak said the occupants were assessed and treated on the scene.
"They were later transported to a nearby hospital for further care,” he said. “Information indicated that no one sustained any serious or fatal injuries."
Vermaak added that the exact circumstances of the incident were not yet known but it was understood that the driver of the tractor lost control while they were on their way to a local farm.
In a separate incident 17 people, mostly schoolchildren, were injured in a collision involving a taxi and a car on Old Main Road near Isipingo, South of Durban.
Rescue Care’s Garrith Jamieson said: "Just after 06.40am, we responded to a call where primary school children who were being transported to school were involved. Paramedics found that two vehicles had been involved and the taxi had come to rest on its side.
"Once all of the injured had been stabilised on the scene they were transported to various Durban Hospitals for further care.”
Jamieson added that at this stage the exact cause of the collision was unknown, but police were on the scene and would be investigating further.
Meanwhile in Gauteng, a taxi crash just after 6am on Wednesday left at least 10 people with minor injuries when the taxi collided with another vehicle at the intersection of Osborn Road and Rendell Road in Germiston.
Netcare 911’s Athlenda Mathe explained: "Reports from the scene indicate that the taxi rolled on impact and hit a traffic light before coming to a stop.
"All the injured were stabilised at the scene and then transported to a nearby hospital for further medical care," she said.
A second taxi crash just before 8am on Wednesday morning left 14 people injured when a minibus rolled on the R21 near Pomona Road in Kempton Park. ER24 and other services arrived on the scene to find it lying on its roof at the side of the road.
“The occupants of the taxi were found outside the vehicle,” ER24’s Vermaak said. “It’s understood they climbed out of the vehicle shortly after it overturned.
"Most of the occupants sustained minor injuries; they were treated for scrapes and bruises at the scene,” he explained.
“Some sustained moderate injuries which included possible back and neck injuries; they were treated at the scene before being taken to a nearby hospital for further care."
Although the exact cause wasn’t known Vermaak said some bystanders had explained that the taxi lost a wheel shortly before it overturned. Local authorities attended the scene.
ER24 reported separately that a third crash on Wednesday morning at the corner of Pretoria Road and Highveld Road left three children with minor injuries after a bakkie and a car collided.
"The children were transported to hospital after being assessed at the scene," it said.