Panel to investigate deadly crash in S. Africa, offer possible changes

Nov. 12, 2013 at 8:14 AM

PRETORIA, South Africa, Nov. 12 (UPI) -- A team has been named to investigate a multi-vehicle crash in which 29 people were killed in Mpumalanga province, South African officials said Tuesday.

The team is composed of high-level officials of the Transport Department, the Road Traffic Management Corporation and the Mpumalanga provincial government, the South African government reported.

Transport Minister Dipuo Peters said the team's mission wouldn't be limited to determining what caused the crash, but would include developing proposals to prevent such crashes.

Twenty-nine people were killed and 30 others injured in a collision involving two trucks, a pickup truck and a bus along the Moloto corridor near Kwaggafontein Monday.

South African President Jacob Zuma sent condolences to the families of the victims and wished the injured a speedy recovery.

"This carnage must stop. It is completely unacceptable," Zuma said. "The fact that this particular road has gained notoriety in the deaths of our people means there's something wrong that we need to address together."

Zuma urged witnesses to assist in the Transport Department's investigation.

"We also urge the law enforcement authorities to swiftly get to the bottom of the causes of this tragedy and the law must be firm on those found to have flouted any rules and regulations of the road, leading to such high fatalities," Zuma said.

"This horrific crash happens on the eve of my presentation of the draft Rail Policy in Cabinet. The Rail Policy has a specific emphasis on the Moloto corridor and speaks to the transport infrastructure investments that we need to make in that area as government," Peters said.

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