PIETERMARITZBURG, South Africa — At least 19 killed people were killed in eastern South Africa on Sunday when an overloaded minibus lost control and rolled down a steep embankment, according to local government officials.
The crash happened near a bridge on the main road outside of Pietermaritzburg, in South Africa’s KwaZulu-Natal province, according to authorities.
Eighteen people died on the scene, according to a post on the official Facebook page of the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Transport. A later post said 19 died in the crash but did not elaborate on the circumstances of the additional death.
The Department of Transport said the minibus was overloaded — carrying 10 more people than its license allowed. Twenty-six people were on board, including the driver.
Paramedics found bodies lying around the overturned minibus when they arrived, according to a news release from ER24, a private emergency services company.
ER24 reported that local residents had taken as many as 12 injured victims from the minibus to a nearby clinic. The injured were later transferred to hospitals.
Authorities have not released the cause of the crash.