'Brake failure' caused accident that killed four pupils
Spokeswoman Khuselwa Rantjie said according to the information they had received from the driver of the bus‚ its brakes failed.
“We have sent accident experts on the scene to investigate further. We cannot just rely on the information from the driver‚ we had to do our own investigation‚” she said.
The bus was ferrying more than 50 pupils from Lwandile and Mngcibe villages to Ntshilini Senior Secondary School when the driver allegedly lost control.
One pupil died on the scene and three other learners died at Canzibe Hospital where they were rushed to.
Health spokesman Sizwe Kupelo said four pupils were airlifted to the Nelson Mandela Academic Hospital in Mthatha in a critical condition.
“The three that have died were among those rushed to Canzibe Hospital‚” he said.
Kupelo said others remained in a critical condition in hospital and were receiving medical attention.
School principal Ntsikelelo Mlisa said pupils jumped out of the moving bus when they noticed that it was out of control.
“When we arrived on the scene‚ they (the pupils) were scattered all over and community members took them to hospital while waiting for emergency personnel. It was a very scary thing to see. Parents were crying uncontrollably‚” he said. Department of education superintendent-general Themba Kojana said the department would despatch a team of psychologists to help counsel the learners while a team was en route to visit the parents of the deceased pupils.
He said the department would further engage the Department of Transport on the roadworthiness of the bus.