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Oudtshoorn - Greater Oudtshoorn mayor Gordon April sent condolences on Thursday to the families of 11 people killed in a bus accident.

“It is with great remorse and sadness that I have to convey my deepest condolences to families and friends of the 11 people whose lives were lost in a tragic bus accident this morning,” April said.

He said he would pray for a speedy recovery for the injured.

Western Cape police said the driver of the bus involved in the accident between George and Oudtshoorn was arrested.

“The driver of the bus is facing multiple counts of culpable homicide after he was arrested by the investigating officer... this 1/8Thursday 3/8 afternoon in Oudtshoorn,” Captain Malcolm Pojie said in a statement.

The arrest came after preliminary investigations into the accident had been submitted and discussed with a senior state prosecutor, said Pojie.

Eleven people were killed and 18 others injured, nine seriously, in the accident, Western Cape traffic authorities said.

“Ten people died at the scene and another person died in hospital,” the province's traffic chief Kenny Africa said at the time.

The accident happened on the N12 at 1.50am.

ER24 spokesman Werner Vermaak said the bus, coming from Cape Town, was going around a bend, about 15km outside Oudtshoorn, when a car in front apparently swerved.

The bus went out of control and fell onto its side. Vermaak said paramedics and police had to climb into the bus to free some people who were trapped in the debris.

Among the injured was a five-year-old boy. He was found lying in the bus next to the body of his mother.

“He was awake but sustained serious fractures,” said Vermaak.

He was taken to a hospital in George.

Around 50 people were believed to be inside, excluding the dead.

The road between George and Oudtshoorn would be closed for several hours as the scene was cleared.

The 25-year-old driver would appear in the Oudtshoorn Magistrate's Court on Friday.