Heavy rainfall wreaked havoc in Pretoria at the weekend, leaving 20 people dead and destroying and washing away shacks in informal settlements.
On Saturday afternoon, 16 people, including six children, were killed in an accident on the N1 south near Hammanskraal. A bakkie apparently lost control and veered over the centre of the road into oncoming traffic.
The bakkie collided with a fully loaded minibus taxi, Emer-G-Med Ambulance Service spokesperson Braam Kruger said yesterday.
“Paramedics arrived on the scene and found that 13 of the taxi’s passengers, as well as both drivers, had succumbed to their injuries and were entrapped within the mangled remains of the vehicles.”
City of Tshwane’s fire department had to extricate the bodies from the vehicles, he said. An off-duty doctor present at the scene attempted resuscitation on one passenger, but the patient was later declared dead at the scene, Kruger said.
“Two passengers from the taxi sustained critical injuries, including multiple fractures.
“They were treated at the scene before being taken to a nearby hospital for further care,” said the paramedic spokesperson.
Meanwhile, another four people died on the N4 highway between Solomon Mahlangu Drive and Simon Vermooten Road exit when a taxi collided with another vehicle before rolling several times. It is alleged the collision happened after one of the taxi’s tyres burst, resulting in the driver losing control. The four were declared dead at the scene, while another three people, including a six-year-old child suffered critical injuries.
“Four other people sustained less serious injuries, ranging from minor to moderate.
“A Netcare 911 helicopter was called to the scene to airlift the critically injured child to a specialist trauma facility.”
Heavy thundershowers caused several flash floods across Pretoria, destroying shacks and structures at an informal settlement in Pienaarspoort, Tshwane Emergency Services spokesperson Johan Pieterse said.
“Pienaarspoort is a low-lying area and we evacuated about 500 people. We used pumps to suck out the water from various places and since the area is mostly an informal settlement, structures and shacks had collapsed.
“Residents are urged to avoid low-lying areas in such weather conditions.” In Gauteng, 70 accidents were attended to in and around the city over the weekend.
Johannesburg metro police spokesperson Superintendent Wayne Minnaar said. “There were no fatalities from those accidents but we again want to call on motorists to exercise extra caution on the roads, especially during rainy conditions.”