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King William's Town - Butterworth police are investigating a case of culpable homicide after three people died in a car crash near the town, Eastern Cape police said on Sunday.

It was believed that a sedan car with four occupants, three men and a woman, was travelling along the R409 from Butterworth towards Msobomvu township at about 7.35pm on Saturday, Captain Jackson Manatha said.

"It is further alleged that the car overturned and the driver died at the scene. The other passengers, namely a female and male passenger, died at Butterworth Hospital. The fourth male passenger suffered some injuries and is recovering at Butterworth Hospital. The ages of the deceased are believed to be between 19-21."

The woman passenger had not yet been identified and Butterworth police appealed to "any family whose female member has not come home" since Saturday night to contact them on 047-401-1100.

The cause of the accident was not known at this stage, but Butterworth police were still investigating, Manatha said.

African News Agency/ANA