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18 August 2017 Last updated 38 minutes ago

South Africa bus crash 'kills at least 19 children'

South Africa bus crash 'kills at least 19 children' South Africa bus crash 'kills at least 19 children'

At least 19 children have been killed in a minibus crash near the South African capital, Pretoria, emergency services and officials say.

The children died after the vehicle burst into flames following a collision with a truck just north of the capital.

There were understood to be both primary and secondary school-aged children on board.

Panyaza Lesufi, the official responsible for education in Gauteng province, said it was a "dark day".

The minibus collided with a truck on the single carriageway R25, between Verena in Mpumalanga and Bronkhorstspruit in Gauteng, having left from Mahlenga High.

The emergency services rescued seven children before the bus burst into flames.

"It is believed the driver of minibus underestimated the speed of the truck and collided with him whilst turning," the Gauteng Education Department said in a statement.

Police later said the bus driver was also killed in the accident, while the driver of the truck survived.

Pictures show the minibus on its side, entirely burnt out.

In a statement, emergency medical service ER24 described arriving at the scene, where firefighters were tackling the flames. A number of children had already been pulled out by "members of the community", the statement said.

"Once the flames had been extinguished, paramedics found that approximately 13 children [were] lying trapped inside the vehicle. Unfortunately, nothing could be done for the children and they were declared dead on the scene," the statement added.