The Minister of Transport Fikile Mbalula has reacted with sadness to the deaths of at least 12 people, whose lives were claimed by a road crash in KwaZulu-Natal.
The accident occurred on Tuesday, 22 September 2020, at the R33 and R614 intersection in Northdale. A minibus and a fuel tanker are believed to have collided.
Six people have been injured in the crash, two of which are in critical condition.
Mbalula has expressed condolences to the friends and families of the deceased while also wishing those injured a speedy recovery.
“We are horrified by this collision. The gruesome nature of this crash and subsequent loss of life are devastating. We send our sincere condolences to those who have lost their loved ones in this incident and wish the injured a swift and full recovery,” he said.
“As we edge close to October Transport month, and build up to the National Taxi Lekgotla, we continue to work towards safer roads and appeal to all road users to work with government to that end”
While initial reports had said 12 people had died, various media outlets said the figure sits at 13. Among those who died was a pregnant woman and her unborn baby.
According to ER24 paramedics, the accident led to petrol and diesel spilling onto the road, which prompted law enforcement officers to close it.
“ER24 paramedics, along with other services, arrived on the scene and found the taxi upright in the middle of the road while the truck was found on its side on the side of the road,” said KZN Emergency Medical Service spokesperson, Robert Mckenzie
“Fuel has begun to leak from the tanker, spilling on the road. Local authorities closed off the road while medics tended to the patients. Several were found lying scattered around the scene while two were found trapped in the taxi,” he said at the time.
Police launch search for driver
The South African Police Service (SAPS) in the province is searching for the truck driver who fled the scene of the accident and a culpable homicide investigation is also underway.
“A truck driver who failed to stop at a stop sign fled the scene and is still being sought by police. Cases of culpable homicide, reckless and negligent driving as well as failure to stop after an accident have been opened for investigation,” said spokesperson Thembeka Mbele.
Read the original article on The South African