Western Cape bus crash toll rises to 24

15 March 2013 - 17:25 By Sapa
Image: Reuben Goldberg

Another two fatalities have increased the death toll in a bus accident on the Hex River Pass near De Doorns to 24, the Western Cape health department said.

Spokeswoman Faiza Steyn said two of the 24 who died were children.

Eight people were critically injured, three of them children; 14 were seriously injured; and 44 others sustained minor to moderate injuries.

Western Cape traffic chief Kenny Africa said the bus was on its way to Cape Town when the driver lost control of the vehicle.

"There are still people trapped in the bus, as well as the driver, and we are pulling up the bus now," he said.

ER24 spokeswoman Vanessa Jackson said the double-decker bus was crushed up against the side of the mountain along the pass.

The Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) sent its condolences to the families of those who had died.

"This is a terrible tragedy. We urge people to be extra cautious when it is raining and to follow all the rules of the road," IFP spokesman Petros Sithole said.

"The traffic cops and police should investigate whether the bus was overloaded and if so, we would expect the necessary criminal charges to be laid against the bus driver."