45 Dead After Bus Crashes Off Cliff

(ConservativeSense.com) – A bus carrying worshippers to church crashed in South Africa over Easter, killing 45 people. An 8-year-old girl was the only survivor of the tragedy. The accident happened in the northern province of Limpopo when the vehicle veered off a bridge and burst into flames. The bus had traveled from Botswana and was occupied by devout Christians en route to Easter services in Moira.

South African Minister of Transport Sindisiwe Chikunga said the government’s thoughts and prayers were with the victims’ families. She furthermore asked drivers to operate with caution and alertness.

The Limpopo Accident Response Team attended the scene with police, and initial investigations suggest the driver lost control of the bus, causing it to collide with barriers and stumble over the edge, falling approximately 50 feet.

Authorities confirmed that the bus had a Botswana license plate, and South African officials will work with those in Botswana to determine the nationality and identity of the victims.

Department of Transport spokesperson Colin Msibi said there was just one survivor, who he said was ejected from the bus before its descent. Paramedics took the young girl to a local hospital, where she is in stable condition. Only nine of the dead are identifiable, South African officials said, as most bodies were destroyed in the fire.

Botswana’s President Mokgweetsi Masisi and South African President Cyril Ramaphosa issued statements expressing condolences, with the South African leader noting the high numbers of deaths on his country’s roads.

The Automobile Association of South Africa last year published figures for 2022 showing that 12,436 people died on the nation’s road, of which 43% were pedestrians. The organization described South Africa’s road fatality levels as a national crisis. In 2023, 252 people were killed in crashes over the Easter holiday, which is a busy period in Limpopo as it hosts a widely popular Christian pilgrimage.

Limpopo is situated in the far northeast corner of South Africa, on the Botswana border.

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