Sixteen people died when the taxi they were in caught fire after it was involved in a pile-up on the N3 in KwaZulu-Natal on Saturday.
Simon, spokesman for Road Traffic Management Corporation Zwane said the incident began around 2 a.m. when a truck overturned in the median of the freeway.
A minibus taxi approaching the scene was struck from behind by another truck and crashed into a traffic cop’s vehicle and then into the overturned truck, he said. Several other vehicles then struck the wreckage.
Schawn Herbst, spokesman for Netcare 911, said paramedics responded to reports of a collision on the south lane between the Peter Brown and Chatterton Road exits in Pietermaritzburg just after 3 a.m responded.
“According to reports, two trucks, a bakkie, a minibus and five other cars were involved in a collision that resulted in a fully loaded taxi bursting into flames,” he said.
“By the time rescuers arrived at the scene, the fire had spread to other vehicles and engulfed the taxi and all its occupants.”
Herbst said another collision occurred on the northbound side of the road, while rescue efforts were underway.
“It is not yet known how many people were in the taxi at the time, but unfortunately they were all burned,” he said.< /p>
“Several other drivers were injured and are being treated by med ician personnel from several emergency services, and an official number has not yet been established.
The road remained closed for most of Saturday.
< p>Four people were killed on Friday night when an SUV believed to be doing so collided with the rear of a truck on the N2 northbound just outside Spaghetti Junction in Durban.
ALS Paramedics Medical Service said a man and two women from the SUV were killed instantly. The fourth victim, believed to be a teenager, was one of eight injured who were taken to hospital. He died from his injuries.