17 killed in Limpopo minibus accident [WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT]

by Tulip Charowa

SEVENTEEN people have died in a head-on collision on the N1 in Limpopo.

A minibus collided with an SUV near the Mookgophong off-ramp on Tuesday. Preliminary investigations revealed that the minibus was traveling from Johannesburg to Polokwane.

It is alleged that the driver of the SUV lost control when the tyre burst and crashed into a 22-seater minibus.

The minibus burst into flames while occupants were trapped inside.

An eye-witness who was amongst the first to arrive at the scene says it was chaotic. He told SABC that trapped passengers could be heard screaming for help.

Only eight were rescued by passing motorists. Of these, six sustained serious injuries.

The witness who wants to remain anonymous had this to say: “It took place outside Mookgophong, N1 North. The minibus collided head on with an SUV which was sound bound. From the 22 seater bus eight people were rescued. The fire has been extinguished now and the entire road has been closed.”

The road was opened for traffic hours later.

Initially, it had been reported that 12 people had died, but five more bodies were found trapped in the minibus.

Limpopo Transport Department spokesperson Mike Maringa: “Our emergency personnel on the scene have discovered five more bodies trapped in the 22-seater bus and this brings the number of fatalities to 17.

“MEC Mavhungu Lerule-Ramakhanya is sending messages of condolences to the families that are affected.”

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SABC and EyeWitnessNews

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