Ten people have died and scores injured in a bus crash in KwaZulu-Natal on Tuesday.
The provincial emergency services spokesperson, Robert Mckenzie, confirmed to Newsnote that the bus was travelling on the N3 to Johannesburg when the driver lost control near the Tugela River close to the Bergville offramp.
Mckenzie said at least 50 people sustained injuries ranging from minor to serious while others were rushed to a nearby hospital for treatment.
The bus company, Eldo Coaches, said it was "deeply saddened to inform the public of an accident involving one of our coaches on Tuesday 12 October 2021 at approximately 11h00. The coach departed from Durban Station at approximately 06h45 on Tuesday 12 October. Operating Service Number 3352 was travelling to Johannesburg".
Eldo Coaches said it was doing its best to assist all passengers that were on board.
"All Emergency and Medical services are present on scene. We are currently getting in touch with all emergency contacts of the passengers that were on board. According to information at hand, the accident was caused by a blowout of the front wheel tyre and the coach rolled," said the bus operator.
It added that it was "cooperating fully" with local authorities to ensure that the accident is thoroughly investigated.
"This is an active incident, we will update the public as soon as we receive any further information. Eldo Coaches assures all of our ongoing support," it said.
Minister of Transport, Fikile Mbalula, expresed sadness at the news of the accident.
"We are shocked and saddened by this tragic crash that has claimed so many lives. Many of our people depend on public transport to travel long distances across the country. This accident heightens their anxiety as we approach the festive season, leaving families with a heavy burden of burying loved ones lost in this tragic manner," he said.
Mbalula sent condolences to the families that lost their loved ones.
"The Road Traffic Management Corporation is sending a team of investigators to the scene and will be conducting a thorough investigation on the root causes of the crash," said the minister.
This bus accident is the latest in a series of accidents on the busy highway that connects KwaZulu-Natal, Free State and Gauteng.
In August a truck driver was killed and two others injured in a heavy motor vehicle accident on the same road near Harrismith.
Anyone who had family or friends on the coach, who wishes to contact Eldo Coaches can do so on the following numbers: 011 852 6120 / 011 940 8088 / 012 323 5475