30 people die in Eastern Cape bus crash
A passenger bus has overturned and crashed on the N2 between East London and Butterworth, killing 30 people, including the driver. Department of Transport spokesperson, Unathi Binqose, confirmed that 29 passengers and the driver lost their lives in this accident in the Kei Cuttings, which happened on Monday afternoon, 16 August 2021. The initial death toll was 28."The death toll is likely to go up. There are other people who are still inside the bus whom we believe have also passed away," said Binqose. Six other passengers were rushed to hospital, while 18 managed to escape uninjured. A large number of search and rescue personnel, traffic officers, fire fighters and paramedics were on the scene.
The incident happened at Kei Cuttings, known for its high accident rate.
The driver of the long-distance double-decker bus, who died in the crash, reportedly lost control before plunging down a steep embankment.
The Road Traffic Management Corporation is leading an investigation into the roadworthiness of the bus but a clear cause has not been made known.
Upon opening some of the body bags, they realised that there was more than just one body. A common mistake which they say happens when they are clearing a scene, particularly under the cover of darkness. It is something that is regrettable. And that is something that the province of the Eastern Cape, doesn't want to see happening again,” Provincial Transport spokesperson Unathi Binqose said.
The Road Traffic Management Corporation was still conducting an investigation and will release a report once the investigation has been concluded.
Some people who passed away are yet to be identified. “The bodies are badly decapitated. It is a struggle even for the families to identify their loved ones. It took us a while to identify the driver. Authorities will run toxicology tests to see if he was in a good state to drive or if he suffered a heart attack. The families are distraught. They had the unenviable task of having to identify their loved ones… and speaking to authorities who are performing the post-mortems. Their bodies were in no state to be viewed by anyone, however… they had to go through that process”, said Binqose.
“We are looking at the condition of the bus and speaking to survivors; they were lamenting the condition of the bus. They say it gave problems since they left Cape Town and things got worse about 60 kilometres to where tragedy struck. They say uphill, it reached human walking pace and downhill the driver hit it hard to make up for time lost uphill”, added Binqose.
Sources: Cape Talk, News 24