South Africa bus crash kills 45 Easter pilgrims from Botswana

A bus crash in northern South Africa killed 45 pilgrims travelling from Botswana for Easter festivities on Thursday, authorities said, with the sole survivor an eight-year-old girl currently being treated in hospital.

South African police said 31 female and 15 male Botswanan passengers died in the crash, after the driver lost control and collided with barriers on a bridge near Mamatlakala. The bus went over the bridge and hit the ground below, catching fire.

Reuters TV footage from the scene showed a wreck of mangled metal from the bus amid scattered clothes and other belongings.

"Authorities are still combing the scene for more bodies," the police said in a statement. "Only 34 bodies have been found thus far. Of the 34, only nine are identifiable."

All the victims were from the village of Molepolole near the Botswana capital Gaborone, it said.

Some bodies were burned beyond recognition while others were trapped inside the debris or strewn about the scene. Authorities had begun a "process to identify and repatriate the remains of the deceased", the police statement said.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa sent his condolences to the families of the victims, his office said in a statement.

The young girl who survived was receiving medical attention at a nearby hospital, the Limpopo region's Department of Transport said.

Source: Reuters

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