One of the 48 children injured in the Michaelhouse school bus accident on Tuesday afternoon has sadly succumbed to his injuries.
The private KwaZulu-Natal school issued a statement on Facebook saying: “Michaelhouse is saddened to confirm the passing of Themba Dloti in this afternoon’s terrible accident.
“The entire School, staff and boys, gathered in the Chapel where the news was shared. We are united in our grief and shock and our prayers are extended to the Dloti family.
“Forty six boys and four staff members were being transported in a 60 seat hired bus to soccer fixtures at Kearsney College this afternoon when the accident occurred.
“Numerous boys and some staff members were seriously injured and are currently undergoing surgery in one of four hospitals in Pietermaritzburg (Greys, Medi Clinic, Hilton Life and St Anne’s).
“The Rector and members of our staff are on hand at these hospitals.
“The School Counsellor, Tim Jarvis, along with Rob Pluke and the School Chaplain, Alan Smedley are counselling boys with the assistance of Housemasters.”
Local authorities are currently on the scene investigating the cause of this incident. Michaelhouse said that the hire bus was carrying four Under 16 soccer teams to Kearsney when it “suffered from a blow-out going down Townhill near Pietermaritzburg and flipped onto its side”.
ER24 Emergency Medical Services (EMS) attended the scene, along with several other services, on the N3 between Hilton and Pietermaritzburg.
ER24 said they found the bus lying on its side and “numerous children had already climbed out of the vehicle and were found walking around on the scene”.
Local authorities closed off the road while paramedics assessed and treated the patients before they were taken to hospitals.
Traffic is heavily affected in the area due to this incident.
Our thoughts and prayers are with Themba Dloti’s family and friends, and all those at Michaelhouse.
— ER24 EMS (Pty) Ltd. (@ER24EMS) September 5, 2017
That Michaelhouse bus accident is so much deeper than we think. You don't even get to see your parents often whilst in boarding school
— Thabo (@Thabo_96_Ntuli) September 5, 2017
— Highway Mail (@HighwayMail) September 5, 2017