Twelve people died this weekend in three separate accidents involving minibus taxis in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng this weekend.
According to paramedics, at least 27 others were injured, some seriously, in the road accidents.
ER24 spokesperson Russel Meiring said 12 people, including a child, died and three other people were injured when a minibus taxi veered out of control and crashed and rolled on the D429 Kilmun Road in Underberg in KwaZulu-Natal late on Saturday afternoon.
ER24 paramedics arrived on the scene at 4.50 pm to find another private service as well as the KwaZulu-Natal provincial emergency medical services (EMS) already in attendance, he added.
A minibus taxi was found upright on its wheels with the roof completely ripped off. Several people were found lying scattered around the scene.
“On closer inspection, medics found that 11 adults and a two-year-old child had sustained fatal injuries. Nothing could be done for them and they were declared dead.
“Three other patients were assessed and found to have sustained moderate to serious injuries.”
The patients were treated and transported by other services to nearby hospitals for further care. It was understood that the taxi driver lost control of the vehicle, causing it to roll multiple times and eject the occupants.
In the second crash, at least 16 people were injured, one critically, when a minibus taxi and another vehicle collided on the M70 Edendale Road in Pietermaritzburg in KwaZulu-Natal on Saturday night, he said.
ER24 paramedics, along with other services, arrived on the scene to find a minibus taxi on its side and the other vehicle upright a short distance away. One man was found trapped inside the overturned taxi while at least 15 others were wandering around the scene.
Pietermaritzburg fire department personnel used specialised tools to free the man from the taxi. Once freed, medics assessed the patient and found that the man was in a critical condition while at least 15 others had sustained minor to moderate injuries.
The patients were treated, and the critically injured man provided with advanced life support interventions before they were transported to nearby hospitals for further care, Meiring said.
And in the third crash, eight people were injured when two minibus taxis collided at the Kgosi Mampuru and Fisagie roads intersection in the Pretoria CBD early on Sunday morning.
ER24 paramedics, along with other services, arrived on the scene at 7.33am to find both taxis in the middle of the road. Several people were found seated on the pavement while one patient was found sitting in the vehicle.
Medics assessed the patients and found that eight people had sustained minor to moderate injuries. Fortunately, no serious injuries or fatalities were found. The patients were treated and thereafter transported to nearby hospitals for further care, Meiring said.