The chilling screams of bystanders echoed at the scene of a tragic accident where children were ejected from a pickup truck around 8am. The harrowing images of the crash were swiftly shared across social media platforms, including WhatsApp. These graphic visuals displayed the lifeless bodies of school children strewn across the road near Promenade Mall, some pinned beneath vehicles.
One particular video showed a white pickup truck crushed against a traffic light, with an injured individual receiving attention. In the background, onlookers watched in shock. The camera then shifted to reveal the covered body of a child lying beneath a Golden Arrow bus. Two more children lay motionless just a few meters away from the crash site on the icy, damp pavement.
Witnesses were heard in the videos, their cries and calls for the arrest of a driver they believed was under the influence, ringing out. Footage of an emergency medical helicopter departing the scene was also disseminated.
Councillor Elton Jansen, chairman of Sub-council 17, expressed his sorrow and confirmed the victims were from various local schools. He deeply regretted the tragic incident that occurred at the AZ Berman and Kerrem intersection in Beacon Valley, Mitchells Plain, extending his heartfelt condolences to the grieving families and wishing a quick recovery to the injured scholars.
He further advocated for the prohibition of transporting students in open vehicles like pickups, overcrowded vehicles, or those lacking appropriate safety measures.
Sergeant Wesley Twigg, a provincial police spokesperson, confirmed that a case of culpable homicide was under investigation following the fatal crash. He requested anyone with information about the incident to contact Crime Stop.
Russel Meiring, ER24 spokesperson, said the victims were believed to be between 13 and 16 years old. Upon arriving at the scene, paramedics found five children had already passed away from their injuries, while a sixth was in critical condition. The critically injured child was treated and rushed to a nearby hospital for immediate care.
Emergency services and police remained at the scene.
Cape Town Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis expressed his sorrow for the families who had lost their children, acknowledging the dark day for the city. He conveyed his hope that authorities would fully investigate the incident to ensure accountability for any misconduct.
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