20 children killed as minibus bursts into flames in crash

April 21 2017, 3.43pmUpdated: April 22 2017, 10.37am
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A minibus carrying young students collided with a truck and burst into flames in South Africa, leaving about 20 children dead.

Emergency crews at the scene said the victims were aged between five and 10.

Russel Meiring, a spokesman for paramedic company ER24, said several children survived after being pulled from the wreckage near Bronkhorstspruit, east of the capital Pretoria.

Images posted by ER24 on Twitter show the crumpled, smoking minibus on its side next to the truck.

Authorities are investigating the cause of the crash.

Transport minister Joe Maswanganyi expressed condolences to the families of the dead.

In an interview with the eNCA news outlet, he said many accidents in the country occur because of reckless driving and that increasing the police presence on the roads would have limited results.

“If human behaviour doesn’t change, there isn’t much that police can do,” he said.

A total of 235 people died in accidents on South Africa’s roads during the recent Easter period, a 51% increase over the same period last year.

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