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Tyre blowout suspected to have caused N3 horror bus crash that claimed 10 lives

12 October 2021 - 13:18
The bus in which 10 people lost their lives and about 50 were injured on the N3 highway.
The bus in which 10 people lost their lives and about 50 were injured on the N3 highway.
Image: KZN EMS

A tyre blowout is believed to have caused a luxury coach to lose control and crash on the N3 highway on Tuesday.

The accident claimed the lives of 10 people and left about 50 injured.

The accident forced authorities to close part of the N3 to allow emergency medical services to conduct their work.

Bus company Eldo Coaches said it was “deeply saddened to inform the public of an accident involving one of our coaches on Tuesday at approximately 11am”.

Eldo Coaches said the bus had departed the Durban station at about 6.45am and was heading to Johannesburg,

“We are doing our best to assist all passengers who were on board. All emergency and medical services are present at the scene.

“We contacting the emergency contacts of the passengers on board.

“According to information at hand, the accident was caused by a blowout in a front tyre and the coach rolled.

“We are cooperating fully with local authorities to ensure the accident is thoroughly investigated. This is an active incident. We will update the public as soon as we receive further information."

KwaZulu-Natal police spokesperson Col Thembeka Mbele said a culpable homicide case had been opened at the Colenso police station on Tuesday.

“The driver of the bus lost control, causing the vehicle to veer over the centre median and the southbound carriage lane. The vehicle then overturned and came to standstill off the road. At this stage there are 10 fatalities. The injured have been transported to local hospitals,” she said.

Netcare 911 spokesperson Shawn Herbst said the collision took place on the Johannesburg-bound lane near the Tugela River.

“Reports from the scene indicate the bus was travelling in a northbound direction when the driver lost control,” he said.

“The bus crashed through the barrier into the southbound lane, rolling several times, ejecting some occupants in the process.

“The bus then came to rest on its side in the veld next to the N3.”

Emergency services found at least 50 people with moderate to serious injuries at the scene.

“We know at least 10 people have died,” said Herbst.

“Details are subject to change as more information becomes available.”