Pretoria – At least 15 people have been killed in a horrific collision involving a bus and a truck that took place on the Hornsnek Road near Ga-Rankuwa, north of Tshwane.
Tshwane Emergency Services Department spokesperson Thabo Charles Mabaso said rescue workers were still on the scene where the was absolute chaos.
“Please take note of a bus and a truck accident that collided head-on, on the M17 the Hornsnek Road near the Bundu Inn in Tshwane. Emergency services are on scene with multiple patients. The patient count is under way at the moment,” said Mabaso.
“Paramedics declared 15 patients dead on scene, while 37 patients were transported to between Dr George Mukhari, Steve Biko and Kalafong Hospitals. Of the 15 deceased, eight were females and seven males whereas 26 patients sustained minor to moderate injuries. Four sustained moderate to critical injuries and seven suffered critical injuries.”
Mabaso said the M17 Road remains closed between the N4 on ramp and off ramp and the K8, in Rosslyn “to allow the recovery of the deceased, the bus and truck as well as on scene investigations”.
He said the closure of the road is anticipated to last more than five hours.
The Tshwane authorities said details regarding the cause of the head-on collision had not been ascertained.
“So far we do not have details as to what is the exact cause of the accident. As you can see, it is winter, it might have been still early and dark and visibility reduced. You cannot rule out hindrances that could have led to an accident like this,” Mabaso told broadcaster eNCA at the accident scene.
“Law enforcement are on scene and this will carry on with the investigations as to what exactly the cause of the accident is.”
Gauteng Emergency Medical Services’ JP Von Benecke told eNCA that the collision happened at about 5am and it was still dark when his team arrived on the scene.
“It was absolute chaos. We had a lot of people still trapped in the bus. We then had to establish on the patients to see who is alive, who we can help and those that we can help first out of the bus, get them into an ambulance and get them to a hospital,” he said.
He said all the occupants of the two vehicles were adults.
“When I stopped my car way up the road, I could hear the people screaming from the bus already. There was absolute panic and desperation just to get out of that vehicle,” said Von Benecke.