The Eastern Cape department of transport has revealed that the 31 passengers who died in a fatal DMJ Transport bus accident along the N2 between East London and Butterworth were not wearing seatbelts.
The department’s spokesperson, Unathi Binqose, on Thursday said preliminary reports into the tragic crash indicated that there may have been some mechanical failure on the vehicle.
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Binqose said the impact of the crash on the occupants may have been a result of not using seatbelts.
“It is recommended that setting up some sort of speed calming measures on that section of the N2 should be considered, as the road is also known for a high volume of heavy vehicles as well,” he said in a statement.
The crash took place at Kei Cuttings on 15 August in the afternoon. The driver of the bus allegedly lost control of the vehicle before crashing into the winding road’s guardrails and the bus overturned.
A number of children were killed and injured in the crash. It is understood that most of the victims were on their way home from Cape Town.
The accident is being investigated by the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) and it is expected to release a report once the probe is done.
Eastern Cape transport MEC Weziwe Tikana-Gxotiwe on Thursday afternoon is expected to lead an interfaith cleansing ceremony for all those who died in the bus crash.
The event will be held a few metres from where the accident occurred at the Kei Bridge Traffic Checkpoint.
Compiled by Thapelo Lekabe