Tzaneen Great North Transport’s (GNT) fleet of buses will be inspected to determine whether they are up to standard, the Limpopo transport department said on Sunday.
This came after at least 10 people, including a baby, were killed and at least 60 other people were injured when a GNT bus transporting churchgoers overturned on the R528 in Magoebaskloof, Limpopo, on Sunday afternoon.
Limpopo transport department spokesman Kaiso Moatane told African News Agency that the department had issued a request to inspect GNT’s bus fleet at its Tzaneen depot.
“Now we don’t know what caused the accident; the only thing that we know is that the driver lost control and crashed,” said Moatane.
Department officials were in discussion with the GNT management and would make sure that the fleet was inspected to verify whether the buses were up to standard, Moatane said.
Limpopo transport, security, and liason MEC Mapula Mokaba-Phukwana was expected to visit the crash victims at two hospitals on Monday.
The road remained closed for hours on Sunday as road accident investigators and other officials analysed the scene and cleared up.
An eyewitness, Victor Ralebala, said he saw two buses following each other at “noticeable speed” and heard a banging sound a short while later.
“I saw two buses passing at speed; minutes later I heard a banging sound. I then ran, [and] when I arrived I saw people jumping through the windows,” said Ralebala.
George’s Valley Road has been designated for trucks and buses to use, because the department disapproves of heavy vehicles and buses using the twisty Magoebaskloof road.
Moatane said the department was still informing the next-of-kin of victims.
ER24 spokesman Pieter Rossouw said earlier that at least 10 people, including a baby, were killed and at least 60 other people were injured when the bus overturned.
“When ER24 arrived on [the] scene they found that the injuries that were sustained ranged from minor to critical,” he said.
“Among the injured were children. ER24 paramedics treated and transported a total of three patients to hospital for further treatment. The remaining patients are being treated by other medical services on [the] scene.”
The cause of the accident was unknown, and local authorities were on the scene to investigate, Rossouw said.