Tragic Bus Accident: 45 Killed as Easter Worshipers’ Bus Plunges off Bridge in South Africa

A bus crash in Limpopo province, South Africa, en route to an Easter conference, resulted in the tragic deaths of dozens of worshipers on Thursday, marking another sorrowful incident in a series of recent deadly road accidents in the country.

The accident claimed 45 lives; the only survivor, an eight-year-old girl, was seriously injured and flown to a hospital, according to the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC). The victims were pilgrims traveling from Gaborone, Botswana’s capital, to attend an Easter conference at the Zion Christian Church in Moria.

The incident occurred in the Mamatlakala mountain pass between Mokopane and Marken, where the bus caught fire after falling off a bridge and through barriers. The exact cause of the crash is currently under investigation. Preliminary reports suggest the bus driver lost control, causing the vehicle to fall onto a rocky area below the bridge and ignite. Rescue efforts are underway to retrieve the remains of the deceased passengers.

The crash’s severity was noted by local officials, with some victims being burnt beyond recognition, and others trapped in debris or scattered around the accident site. So far, only 12 bodies have been recovered, according to Florence Radzilani, a local transport and community safety official.

The South African government, including Transport Minister Sindisiwe Chikunga and President Cyril Ramaphosa, has extended condolences to the victims’ families and announced plans to repatriate the bodies to Botswana. They also urged for heightened road safety awareness, especially over the Easter weekend, a time when road usage spikes.