35 killed in S. Africa bus accident

Cape Town, Aug 30 (IANS) A bus drove off a cliff, killing 35 people on board in Eastern Cape province on Saturday, authorities said.

Only nine of the 44 passengers survived the horror crash, Xinhua reported citing the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC).

Eight sustained moderate injuries and one was seriously hurt, the RTMC said.

But according to Eastern Cape provincial health spokesman Sizwe Kupelo, six were in a critical condition.

Of those killed, four were children, said RTMC spokesperson Simon Zwane.

The crash took place between Butterworth and Willovale in the province, he said.

It was believed that the victims were all from the same village in Willowvale near Dutywa, Eastern Cape province.

Initial reports put the number of deaths at 25, but after all of the passengers trapped inside the bus had been removed, the death toll rose to 35, Zwane said.

The cause of the accident was not immediately known.

“We cannot speculate at this moment as to the cause of the accident but our investigators will rely on witnesses statements to try and establish what happened,” Butterworth police spokesman Captain Jackson Manatha said.

Manatha, however, said a case of culpable homicide had been opened by police.

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