Six people killed in multi vehicle accident on N3 in KwaZulu-Natal, more than 40 vehicles involved
Six people were killed in multi vehicle accident on the N3 highway between Hilton and Cedara in KwaZulu-Natal on Monday, 10 April 2023. The pileup occurred around 17h00 in heavy mist and light rain and involved more than 40 vehicles, including tankers, light motor vehicles, heavy commercial vehicles and minibusses. Multiple patients were entrapped in their vehicles and were in critical condition requiring advanced life support treatment and vehicle extrication tools to extricate them from the wreckage. Five people were declared deceased on the scene by paramedics while another died in hospital.
All patients were treated on scene by various ambulance services and Doctors came to assist on the scene.
Midlands EMS Howick ambulances were dispatched to a motor vehicle accident along the N3 between Hilton and Cedara for a motor vehicle accident. As crews approached the scene a secondary accident involving multiple vehicles and trucks and taxis occurred, crews began a scene command to see who needed help and who was uninjured.
The KZN transport department confirmed that 41 vehicles were involved in Monday’s accident on the N3.
In a statement, the department said the truck lane was closed at Peter Brown Drive.
“All [is] in order on KZN roads for now. However, the truck lane is closed at Peter Brown Drive on the northbound due to diesel spillage. Two lanes are operational. The total number of vehicles confirmed that were involved in a major crash last night is 41,” said the department.
EMS spokesperson Robert McKenzie said the scene was cleared around midnight. “That was remarkable considering the size of the scene. Five fatalities can be confirmed but at this stage we are not sure about the number of injuries. The N3 is now open,” said McKenzie on Tuesday morning.
The road was opened after the recovery of all the five bodies of the deceased, assisting survivors on scene and transporting critical patients to health care facilities for urgent medical attention.
This multi-disciplinary team has had to work hard in removing the wreckages of five trucks, eight minibus taxis and twenty-two light motor vehicles which were involved in the pile up.
Through an integrated government’s response, various interventions are being made including setting up shelter in uMngeni Town Hall and activating an emergency contact centre. Various social partners are also mobilized and are also assisting the affected motorists and public transport commuters.
The taxi industry is also providing alternative transport to public transport commuters who may wish to continue with their journey to their respective destinations.
Commenting on the road reopening the KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Transport, Sipho Hlomuka has commended the hard work by various emergency services. “We acknowledge the magnitude of this horrific accident and the trauma felt by all those involved is unbearable. We once again wish to send our deepest condolences to all the affected families and wish a speedy recovery to all those who sustained injuries. Some motorists have been stuck for hours and lost a lot of time in traffic. We, however, wish to salute all the emergency response teams for a job well done under such unfavourable weather conditions. As provincial authorities, we are hugely disappointed with the fatal crashes recorded during this Easter weekend. We appeal to those who will be continuing with their journey and those who are still going to embark to be on high alert and ensure maximum adherence to traffic regulations.”
The exact cause of the accident is under investigation by local authorities.
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