Ten killed after construction vehicle overturns on Ou Kaapse Weg, Cape Town
Ten people have died and 14 others were injured after a construction vehicle lost control and overturned several times on the Ou Kaapse Weg in Steenberg on Saturday morning, 21 September 2019. City of Cape Town Fire and Rescue Services spokesperson, Jermaine Carelse, said that crews from Houtbay and Roeland Street Fire Stations responded with two rescue vehicles to back up fire engines from Lakeside and Fishhoek Fire Stations. The initial dispatch call came in at 1h43. According to City of Cape Town traffic spokesperson, Maxine Bezuidenhout, the victims were sitting on the back of the vehicle when it overturned at around 2h00 in the morning. ER24 spokesperson Werner Vermaak said paramedics arrived on scene and found nine men with fatal injuries. "Sadly, there was nothing that could be done for them and they were declared dead," Vermaak said in a statement.
Three other men sustained serious injuries and eleven others sustained minor to moderate injuries. Western Cape traffic chief Kenny Africa confirmed that a tenth person later died in hospital.
He added that Ou Kaapse Weg would be closed until 10h00 to allow the South African Police Service (SAPS) to investigate the accident.
The driver of the bakkie has been located at a "local hospital", police say. Police are investigating a culpable homicide case following the early morning accident on Saturday. Western Cape police spokesperson, Lieutenant Colonel Andrè Traut, confirmed that police were investigating the incident and that, after initial fears the "driver had fled the scene, he has since been located at a local hospital".
Preliminary investigations indicate that the driver of the bakkie was transporting 23 contract workers from work to their homes when the vehicle overturned at around 1h30 on Saturday.
Western Cape Transport MEC Bonginkosi Madikizela said reports also indicated that the bakkie's brakes were "ineffective at the time of the accident". Madikizela visited the injured workers in hospital on Sunday.
In conveying his condolences to the families of the workers, Madikizela called for a thorough and swift investigation. "I am deeply saddened by the tragic death of 10 construction workers who were killed on Saturday. My condolences and prayers go [to] the families of the victims during this difficult period," he said.
"I call on law enforcement agencies to fully investigate the cause of this accident. Information found on the cause of this crash must be used to improve road safety and avoid recurrence. One life lost is one too many."