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An 8-year-old girl was the sole survivor of a tragic bus accident in South Africa, where a bus carrying 46 people on their way to an Easter weekend pilgrimage plunged 165 feet from a bridge into a ravine and burst into flames. The bus was traveling from Botswana to Moria when the driver lost control and the bus careened off a bridge. Forty-five people, including the driver, were killed in the accident. The young survivor was receiving medical attention at a nearby hospital and was in serious condition.

President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa extended his condolences to President Mokgweetsi Masisi of Botswana following the tragic bus accident. Rescuers worked late into the night to retrieve burned and trapped bodies from the scene. The crash occurred in a mountainous area with winding roads and picturesque views about three and a half hours north of Johannesburg. The stretch of road where the accident occurred is popular with pilgrims heading to Moria, the headquarters of the Zion Christian Church.

The nationalities of the victims have not yet been determined, and the tragic accident occurred as South Africans were preparing for a four-day weekend with public holidays. Before the holidays, South African authorities often implement extra measures to prevent traffic accidents, such as police roadblocks and awareness campaigns. The country has historically had high road-fatality rates, with over 12,400 road fatalities in 2022. The Automobile Association of South Africa has called for increased investment in road safety and better enforcement of traffic laws to address the ongoing crisis.

The incident is a stark reminder of the dangers faced by motorists in South Africa and across the continent. The Easter holiday period is traditionally a time of increased traffic and road accidents, making it crucial for authorities to implement safety measures. South Africa has been particularly hard hit by traffic fatalities, with organizations like the Automobile Association advocating for urgent action to improve road safety. The tragic bus accident serves as a somber reminder of the importance of vigilance and adherence to road safety regulations.

In the aftermath of the accident, President Ramaphosa’s office released a statement expressing condolences and pledging support for the victims’ families. The girl’s survival amidst such tragedy is a testament to the resilience of the human spirit, as she recovers from serious injuries in the hospital. The incident has sparked discussions about road safety in South Africa and the need for concerted efforts to prevent similar tragedies in the future. As investigations into the cause of the accident continue, authorities and the public alike are reminded of the fragility of life and the importance of prioritizing safety on the roads.

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