Nine pupils killed as minibus taxi overturns on Mpumalanga road

Nine pupils died in a minibus crash on the D267 Road between Dundonald and Mayflower in Mpumalanga on Wednesday.

The victims are aged between five and 13 years old. File image.
Image:ír Chalabala

Initially eight people were reported to have lost their lives. However, the number of fatalities rose after the discovery of another body metres away from the crash scene on Thursday morning.

The body was found after a search operation was conducted by the police, the community and other stakeholders.

“It is believed that the body fell in the river upon impact and was trapped between rocks,” said Mpumalanga police spokesperson Moeti Mmusi.

Seven pupils died at the scene while the eighth died at the hospital, he said.

“Ten passengers sustained moderate to serious injuries and they are receiving treatment in hospital.”

The victims are aged between five and 13.

The driver of the minibus has been arrested and charged with nine counts of culpable homicide, failure to produce an operating licence, overloading and operating a vehicle that is not roadworthy, among others.

He is expected to appear in the Elukwatini magistrate’s court on Friday.

A delegation from the departments of education and social development visited the area to facilitate psychosocial support to affected pupils and educators. A task team will be set up to work with the bereaved families in finalising funeral arrangements.

The deceased are reportedly pupils who were being transported to their homes from school.

A probe into the cause of the crash is under way.

TimesLIVE (TMG Digital)

Kgaugelo Masweneng

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