The Tanzania Times
Eastern Africa News Network

Road Accidents during Easter Weekend claim 47 lives in Tanzania and South Africa

More than 45 mostly Christian worshippers perished when the bus they were traveling in went over a cliff in the Limpopo Province of South Africa.

At the same time in Tanzania, two buses were among the three vehicles involved in an early morning road accident, near Dar-es-salaam, which killed two passengers, injuring several and leaving the vehicles burnt down to ashes.

The Sauli bus and Golden Deer Bus plying between Dar and Southern Highlands were involved in the tragic accident in Mlandizi area after ramming into an oil tanker.

As for the South African accident, it involved teams of faithful brethren, who according to officials were on their way to attend an Easter conference on Passover Thursday.

South Africa’s Transport Department confirmed the deaths of 45 passengers on the eve of Good Friday.

There was however a sole survivor who happens to be an eight-year-old girl.

The child has been airlifted to a hospital, according to the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC).

It seems the passengers were pilgrims traveling from Gaborone – the capital city of neighboring country Botswana – to a South-African church for an Easter conference.

Their bus crashed in the Mamatlakala mountain pass between Mokopane and Marken.

The passenger reportedly caught fire after hitting the bottom of the deep gorge. The cause of the crash is under investigation.

Still, early reports are to the effect that the bus driver lost control and the vehicle flew off-road, landing onto a rocky surface, some 50 meters under the bridge, before erupting in flames.

Just as rescue efforts were going on to recover the bodies of the passengers killed in the crash and searching for possible survivors, it was stated that “Some bodies burned beyond recognition.”

The Province’s local department added: “trapped inside the debris and others [are] scattered on the scene.”

South African Transport Minister Sindisiwe Chikunga said the government would repatriate the bodies to Botswana, the broadcaster said.

“I am sending my heartfelt condolences to the families affected by the tragic bus crash near Mamatlakala. Our thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time. We continue to urge responsible driving at all times with heightened alertness as more people are on our roads this Easter weekend,” Chikunga said in a statement.

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