Picture: Twitter/@kznems

Durban - Forensic investigations are underway to establish the exact number of people who were badly burnt in an accident involving three trucks on the N3 near Estcourt, in KwaZulu Natal, the provincial paramedic services said on Thursday. 

Emergency Medical Services spokesperson Robert Mckenzie said paramedics responded to the accident scene at around 5am Thursday morning. 

"One of the trucks caught alight after the crash, leaving the N3 south bound lane near the Loskop off-ramp, closed to traffic. It is believed that some occupants of the trucks have been burnt beyond recognition," McKenzie said. 

Mckenzie said paramedics from the KZN Department of Health's Emergency Medical Services treated three patients who had all sustained serious injuries. 

"The patients were stabilised at the scene before being transported to hospital for continued medical care." 

He said after the fire had been extinguished, the burnt-out truck wrecks were searched for occupants that had been reported missing by the surviving victims. 

The search continues, while the exact cause of the crash was not immediately known and was being investigated by police.