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Last Updated Saturday July 15 2017 11:07 PM IST

19 schoolchildren killed in bus crash in South Africa

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Schoolchildren killed in minibus crash in South Africa

Johannesburg: A driver and 19 schoolchildren were killed in South Africa when the minibus they were traveling in collided with a truck and exploded in a ball of fire in Mpumalanga province, emergency services said on Friday.

The vehicle was ferrying children from school when it collided with the truck between the towns of Verena and Bronkhorstpruit, northeast of the capital Pretoria, Russel Meiring, ER24 spokesman said.

Several children were injured, he said.

The dead children lay trapped inside the burnt out shell of the vehicle that stood on its side, he said. It was not clear what caused the collision, police said.

"The (minibus) was transporting learners from school and it collided with the truck and caught fire," Mpumalanga police spokesman Gerald Sedibe said. He said the minibus driver was killed, while the truck driver survived.

Even though it is Africa's most industrialized economy with a modern road network, South Africa has a dire road safety record. Road deaths rose to 235 during this year's Easter weekend compared with 156 fatalities last year, transport officials said earlier on Friday.

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