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A crash near Bronkhorstspruit, Gauteng has today claimed the lives of at least 20, most of whom were children.
The incident, which involved a collision between a truck and a taxi, took place Friday afternoon
It was first reported by ER24 EMS via its Twitter account, and quickly spread to major news outlets across South Africa.
— ER24 EMS (Pty) Ltd. (@ER24EMS) April 21, 2017
“Approximately 13 children had been killed and several other injured this afternoon when a taxi and truck collided head-od [sic] on the R25 between Verena and Bronkhorstpruit,” ER24 states in an earlier update.
“Paramedics assessed the scene and found that approximately 20 children had been inside the vehicle when it collided with the truck.
“Once the flames had been extinguished, paramedics found approximately 13 children lying trapped inside the vehicle. Unfortunately, nothing could be done for the children and they were declared dead on the scene.”
The news also filtered through Twitter, on the day that the Easter period’s road death statistics (pdf) were announced by South African minister of transport Joe Maswanganyi.
#BusCrash as well as the term “Bronkhorstspruit” became trending topics across Gauteng and South Africa after the incident, with many mourning the loss of South African youths.
A sad day in SA. 20 school children have been killed in a taxi accident outside #Bronkhorstspruit
Prayers to their parents & loved ones 😞🙏
— Karabo Mokgoko (@Karabo_Mokgoko) April 21, 2017
— Jesus' Fave🙏👑 (@lulushezi) April 21, 2017
Future leaders gone too soon 🙏 May God be with their families during this hard times 💔😢
— kgotlelelo whitney (@RammyMatjeke) April 21, 2017
#Bronkhorstspruit Condolences to the families. A sad day for us all
— Ferdi Bijzet (@FerdiBijzet) April 21, 2017
#Bronkhorstspruit tragedy so many innocent lives lost. Stories like these destroy you soul.
— Nick (@cynicindisguise) April 21, 2017
my heart is broken #Bronkhorstspruit
— Nadi Maphutha (@linadi24) April 21, 2017
Official accounts, including Gauteng Transport, also posted their condolences.
“Prayers for parents who saw their children for the last time this morning thinking they’ll come home,” one tweet read.
Prayers for parents who saw their children for the last time this morning thinking they’ll come home. Bronkhorstspruit
— Gauteng Transport (@gpdrt) April 21, 2017
— SA Gov News (@SAgovnews) April 21, 2017
Our condolences to the families and loved ones of the 20 learners who passed on in an accident just outside Bronkhorstspruit.
— Gauteng ANC (@GautengANC) April 21, 2017
The cause of the collision is not yet known, but “local authorities are on the scene for further investigations”, ER24 states.
This is a developing story. Please refresh the page for updates.
Feature image: ER24 EMS via Twitter