Survivors of an Easter weekend horror minibus taxi crash, an incident which left eight dead and a similar number severely injured, have recounted the events leading up to their deadly clash with a smaller car.
On Easter Monday a taxi carrying 14 passengers collided with a Ford Fiesta before bursting into flames, witnesses said.
Some of the passengers managed get out of the taxi through windows to safety. Those who were unable to escape were burnt beyond recognition.
Some survivors recalled how they frantically tried to rescue those inside the burning vehicles. Unable to get inside the vehicles because of the flames, the survivors said they watched in horror as the fire consumed everything – including eight people.
Traumatised witness, Rosina Kgasago, told African News Agency (ANA) that, along with a few others, she tried to flag down passing vehicles, but their frantic waving and screams for help were sadly mostly ignored.
Kgasago said injured passengers had to risk further injury when they rescued those they could from the burning vehicles.
“I got out and try to stop motorists who were passing they ignored us, a few motorists stopped. But they could not help much because they did not have any fire extinguishers,” said Kgosago, while standing in a queue at the hospital.
By the time a motorist with a fire extinguisher stopped to help it was too late – the flames had engulfed both vehicles, recalled Kgosago.
“I still don’t know how I survived,” she said, adding “it was God’s grace”.
Another survivor Joas Mashobe, also speaking from hospital, said: “I don’t know how I managed to get out, am still asking myself”.
Mashobe, still wearing a blood stained shirt, said he lost his baggage and cell phone. He survived the crash with a cut on his lip and abrasions on his hands.
The local taxi association said the fully laden minibus taxi was travelling from Apel Cross Taxi rank in Limpopo to Park station in Gauteng when the tragedy occured.
Provincial Transport spokesman, Kaiso Mootane, said investigations into the crash were under way to determine the cause of accident.
The road was closed for nearly four hours on Monday to allow forensic and crime scene investigators to work at the accident scene.
As a result, traffic officials redirected vehicles to Marble Hall road via Phetwane village.
Mootane said the victims had not yet been identified.
“This is the first accident were people died like this, we have never seen this,” said Thomas Maleka, a local taxi association boss.