45 Killed in Bus Crash in South Africa, 8-Year-Old Sole Survivor

The 8-year-Old lucky survivor in stable condition.

A bus carrying pilgrims to an Easter service met with a horrific accident. The bus lost control on a bridge along the Mmamatlakala mountain pass between Mokopane and Marken, approximately 300 kilometers (190 miles) north of Johannesburg. The consequences were devastating: 45 lives lost as the bus plunged some 50 meters (165 feet) off the bridge into a ravine. The impact was so severe that the bus caught fire upon hitting the ground.

Among the tragedy, there emerged a glimmer of hope: an eight-year-old girl miraculously survived. She sustained serious injuries but is now in a stable condition. How did she survive? It appears that when the bus collided with the bridge barrier, the child was ejected from the vehicle, ultimately saving her life.

The passengers on board were pilgrims traveling from Botswana’s capital, Gaborone, to the town of Moria for Easter celebrations. The crash has left authorities grappling with the identification of victims. While 34 body bags have been retrieved from the scene, only nine bodies have been positively identified due to the intensity of the fire.

Transport Minister Sindisiwe Chikunga expressed her heartfelt condolences to the affected families and pledged government support for repatriating the bodies. An inquiry into the cause of the crash will be conducted. However, the road itself has raised concerns—winding with sharp bends, it’s not suitable for heavy vehicles like buses or trucks.

Botswana’s President Mokgweetsi Masisi also extended condolences to the victims’ relatives and the church they belonged to. South African President Cyril Ramaphosa urged responsible driving during the Easter weekend, emphasizing the need for road safety.

As we mourn the loss of 45 lives, let us remember the resilience of the young survivor—a testament to hope amidst tragedy. 🕊️🌸