A Sapa correspondent reported that this followed an explosive collision between a truck, an SUV and a bus that was transporting commuters to Bushbuckridge.
Ten people burnt to death when the bus caught fire.
“As we speak I’m on the scene. Ten people have died and we have lots of people being taken from the bus to hospitals. We hope no one else dies as there are many people here,” said spokesman for the provincial department of community safety, Joseph Mabuza.
The R40 road was closed in both directions and traffic was being directed via the Numbi Gate road.
Mabuza said the injured were transported in a helicopter and ambulances to Rob Ferreira Hospital and MediClinic in Mbombela, as well as Themba Hospital in Kabokweni.
Mabuza said that initial reports indicated the truck driver, who was travelling from Hazyview, lost control and hit a Great North Transport bus, which was travelling from Mbombela.
An RAV4 offroad vehicle was also involved in the collision.
The bus burst into flames and only 17 passengers are reported to have escaped before the blaze started. Those who died are said to have been burnt beyond recognition.
One bus passenger, Sindy Ndlovu, was taken to Themba Hospital and said she could recall little about the accident.
“What I know is that there was a truck and a car behind us. I’m now at Themba Hospital. I don’t know much. I’m going for X-rays now,” she said.