Bus of Easter Churchgoers Plunges Off Bridge, Only One Survivor

(RepublicanNews.org) – A bus carrying 46 people to an Easter celebration in the Limpopo region of South Africa crashed through the side of a bridge and fell over 160 feet into a ravine, killing all but one passenger. The only survivor, an eight-year-old girl, was pulled from the wreckage with significant injuries but is expected to survive.

The bus had been traveling from the neighboring country Botswana, taking its passengers on a pilgrimage to the town of Moria, in the Limpopo area of South Africa before the Easter weekend when it careered off the side of the bridge in the Mmamatlakala mountain pass in the northern region of the country. The pilgrimage has not taken place since the outbreak of COVID-19 but usually attracts hundreds of thousands of worshippers to the headquarters of the Church of Zion in Moria, where they come together near a huge star emblem painted in white upon a hillside.

The surviving girl is said to have been ejected from the bus as it fell, which is likely the reason she was able to survive, as the bus burst into flame upon hitting the ravine floor. The severity of the fire has made identification of the bodies difficult, with some bodies possibly being fused together in the heat of the inferno.

South Africa’s Transport Minister Sindisiwe Chikunga expressed her condolences to the victims’ families and described the road the driver had taken as a tough road to drive and one that she would not advise any heavy vehicle, such as a bus, to travel upon due to its many hairpin bends and other such difficulties. She went on to confirm that the South African government would hold an inquiry into the crash and would work to repatriate the deceased travelers to their home country, Botswana.

Minister Chikunga made her statement after visiting the crash scene. She had been in the region to promote a road safety campaign at the time and changed her plans when news of the crash broke. More than 200 people died in car crashes over the 2023 Easter period, and the South African authorities often ramp up road safety campaigns in the run-up to the Easter weekend due to increased numbers of drivers on the road.

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