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South Africa bus crash kills 20 children

URGENT: 20 children killed in S.Africa bus crash: emergency services

Johannesburg, South Africa | AFP |  At least 20 children were killed in a bus crash outside the South African capital Pretoria on Friday, emergency services said, as paramedics treated the injured at the scene.

The minibus collided with a truck on a road between the towns of Bronkhorstspruit and Verena, about 70 kilometres (45 miles) from Pretoria.

“It is confirmed 20 children have been killed,” Russel Meiring, spokesman for the ER24 emergency medical service, told AFP.

“Paramedics arrived on the scene to find the fire services already in attendance. The fire services had already extinguished the burning vehicle, which was found lying on its side.”

Many children were trapped inside the bus and most of the fatalities were declared dead at the site of the accident.

Several other children were injured, with reports that some of them were dragged from the wreckage by people at the scene.

“The children were treated for their injuries and provided with advanced life support interventions before they were transported to various hospitals in the area for further treatment,” ER24 said in a statement.

The cause of the collision was not immediately known.

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At least 13 dead in Indian truck crash: police

New Delhi, India | AFP | A truck ploughed into a crowd of farmers staging a protest in southern India on Friday, killing at least 13 people and injuring several others, police said.

The accident occurred when the driver lost control of the vehicle and struck an electricity pole, before crashing into the group demonstrating outside a police station in Andhra Pradesh state.

“The driver was driving rashly and negligently. We have launched an investigation to find out if he was under the influence of alcohol,” a local police officer told AFP without giving his name.

“Some 20 people are injured and they are undergoing treatment in various hospitals.”

The Press Trust of India reported that the driver fled the scene after mowing down the protesters — who were demonstrating against illegal sand mining — and crashing into some shops.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed anguish at the loss of life, and offered his condolences to the families of the victims.

State Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu announced compensation of 500,000 rupees ($7,700) each for the families of the dead.

India has some of the world’s deadliest roads with more than 150,000 fatalities annually due to poor roads, badly maintained vehicles and reckless driving.

On Wednesday, a bus swerved off a mountain road in northern India, killing 44 people.

 

 

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