DURBAN - Condolences have poured in from all quarters for the victims and families of a crash in Durban on Wednesday that claimed the lives of four school children and left 18 others injured.
The three boys and a girl were killed when the minibus taxi in which they were travelling collided with a bus on Nyala Road in Durban’s Ntuzuma Township.
National Freedom Party provincial chairman Vikizitha Mlotshwa said the accident added to an already high road death toll in the country.
“We call on the MEC of Transport, Community Safety and Liaison Mr Mxolisi Thomas Kauda to make sure that all KZN schooler transports used to transport learners are in good condition before transporting, it is a fact that not all these transport used are in good conditions for our learners,” he said.
The Democratic Alliance’s provincial transport spokesman also expressed his condolences.
“We urge the Department of Transport to conduct an immediate investigation into this accident and that action be taken against those who failed to adhere to law. There must be consequences for those who have caused this tragedy,” he said.
The Inkatha Freedom Party spokeswoman also expressed her party’s condolences, saying that accidents continued to rob the province of young lives.
“We question what has happened to the safe scholar transport that was promised by the provincial government when we raised our concerns about children being transported on the back of bakkies. Many promises were made at the time but our children continue to die on our roads while travelling to school,” she said.
Robert McKenzie, spokesman for the KwaZulu-Natal provincial Emergency Medical Service, said the accident took place on Nyala Road near the bus station.
“Initial reports were that there were six fatalities, however, it has now been confirmed that there are four fatalities, tragically it is school children who have sustained fatal injuries,” he said.
He said the deceased were all below the age of 16 years.
ER24 spokesman Russel Meiring said that one side of the taxi had been ripped open.
McKenzie said 18 people had been injured and were taken to various hospitals, with one of the patients being airlifted to hospital by helicopter.
Emergency services, including multiple ambulance services, were still on scene at the time of writing.
KwaZulu-Natal provincial education spokesman Sihle Mlotshwa said that he could confirm that it was four pupils who had died in the crash.
“This is a very sad day. It is meant to be a happy. I myself took my daughter to school and posted pictures of her. I can only begin to imagine what those parents are feeling.
"On behalf of the MEC, I wish to express sincere condolences,” said Mlotshwa.
African News Agency