Dozen of children killed in South Africa school bus fire

At least 12 children and their driver lost their lives in a horrific accident near Johannesburg, South Africa, on Wednesday. The minibus transporting them to school collided with another vehicle, overturned, and burst into flames.

Authorities in Gauteng province confirmed the deaths and reported seven other children were injured in the crash that occurred in Merafong, west of Johannesburg.

Television footage displayed the devastating aftermath, with the minibus completely destroyed by fire. Charred school supplies littered the scene as investigators worked to understand the cause of the accident.

“This is a tragic accident,” stated Gauteng education minister Matome Chiloane.

“The loss of these young lives leaves a deep scar on our community.” Initial reports suggest a small pickup truck struck the minibus from behind, causing it to roll over and ignite. The driver of the pickup truck is also receiving treatment at a nearby hospital.

The incident highlights the ongoing struggle with road safety in South Africa. While the country boasts a well-developed road network across the continent, reckless driving and unsafe vehicles contribute to a high rate of accidents.

Many families rely on private minibuses for school transportation, raising concerns about vehicle maintenance and safety standards.

This tragedy marks the latest in a series of fatal road accidents in South Africa this year. In March, a bus carrying religious pilgrims plunged off a bridge, claiming 45 lives. Party supporters and passengers travelling in minibuses have also been victims of fatal crashes in recent months.

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