SANDF members killed in bus accident

SANDF members killed in bus accident

The South African National Defence Force (SANDF) says 11 of its members have died following a bus crash in the Free State.

Bus crash

The bus rolled down an embankment off the R712 in Golden Gate.

Nine people were declared dead on scene.

"One member passed away en-route to the hospital and another passed away upon arrival at the hospital," said SANDF spokesperson Brigadier General Xolani Mabanga.

A further 31 people sustained injuries, with three in a critical condition. 

The SANDF confirmed that all on board the bus are from the Department of Defence's Mobilisation Centre in De Brug in Bloemfontein.

A total of forty-two people were being transported in the bus at the time of the accident. 

The cause of the accident is still being investigated. 

Mabanga said names of the deceased would be communicated once their next-of-kin had been informed.

The Road Traffic Management Corporation said it had sent accident reconstruction experts to the scene to investigate.

It said there were only two men on board the bus.

Minister of defence Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, the Secretary for Defence, Dr Sam Gulube, the Chief of the SANDF, General Solly Shoke and the Chief of the South African Army, Lieutenant General Lindile Yam have expressed their condolences to the families, loved ones and friends of those who lost their lives.

Motorists have been advised to use alternative routes as the road will be closed for an extended period of time while investigations are underway.

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