Family loses four children as 12 people die in scholar transport accident

Minibus taxi transporting children was apparently rear-ended and caught fire

The driver and 11 children died when their school transport got into an accident in Carletonville on Wednesday morning.
The driver and 11 children died when their school transport got into an accident in Carletonville on Wednesday morning.
Image: Supplied

A family lost four children who were among 11 who died when their scholar transport caught fire in Carletonville on Wednesday morning. The driver also died.

The Toyota minibus taxi transporting children to Rockland Primary School and Laerskool Blyvooruitsig was apparently rear-ended by a Ford Ranger, leading the minibus taxi to roll and catch fire.

Eleven children and the driver were reportedly burnt beyond recognition, while eight other children were taken to Carletonville Hospital. Seven were discharged in the afternoon while one was moved to Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital in Soweto for specialised treatment. The driver of the Ford Ranger was also hospitalised.

President Cyril Ramaphosa offered his condolences to the families, friends, pupils and educators of the deceased children.

 “The loss of such young lives at the start of a new school term touches all of us as a nation. We wish the affected families and school communities the best as they mourn the passing of children who have been deprived of fulfilling their potential and spending their lives with families and friends,” Ramaphosa said.

Gauteng premier Panyaza Lesufi extended the government's condolences.

“I have just been briefed ... that one of the families lost four children, which becomes extremely painful and unbearable,” said Lesufi.

He said they tried to visit the affected families after the incident but were advised to give them space.

Gauteng MEC of education, sports and arts and culture, Matome Chiloane, said the accident left him speechless.

The vehicle that was involved in the accident was a private scholar patrol vehicle that was not registered with the department.

“This is something that has been an issue for quite some time ... I always said to parents that we need to check the integrity and condition of the vehicles we put our children in. There are questions we will be answering ourselves, as a department.”

It was, however, confirmed by the provincial police's crash unit at the scene that the  vehicles were both roadworthy.



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