The national Minister of Transport Sindisiwe Chikunga, has sent heartfelt condolences to the families of six pupils killed in a horror bus crash on Tuesday in the Free State.
The accident took place on the R70 between Senekal and Ventersburg.
The bus had been transporting Hoërskool Riebeeckstad pupils from an outdoor school event in Moolmanshoek near Rosendal to Welkom, when the crash happened.
According to the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) six children died on scene, while 28 suffered minor injuries, one had severe injuries and another six pupils were treated for moderate injuries.
Department spokesperson Simon Zwane said it is alleged the driver lost control of the vehicle and it overturned.
“It is alleged that one of the tyres of the bus came off before the driver lost control and the bus overturned.
“Members of the Free State emergency medical services, private emergency medical services, traffic officers and the members of the South African Police immediately attended the scene.
“Injured school children were transported to various hospitals in Welkom and Senekal.”
Zwane said the exact cause of the crash is unknown at this stage.
“Crash investigators from the Road Traffic Management Corporation have been dispatched to the scene to establish all the factors that could have led to this tragic collision.”
In sending her condolences to the school and families of the both the injured and deceased, Chikunga said: “It is a sad day indeed to have lost so many children at the start of the school year.
“I would like to assure parents, the Free State education department, school principal and teachers that the investigation will be with diligence and concluded speedily to allow all affected to find closure. Our prayers are with the families and relatives of the deceased.”