SEKHUKHUNE – Six passengers died and 14 who escaped with injuries were admitted to the nearest hospital when a Putco bus caught fire on the R573 Moloto Road on Friday, 21 May 2021 afternoon.
The road had to be closed until further notice as motorists were urged to take alternative routes that afternoon at about 15:00 when the bus caught fire, resulting in six passengers’ deaths and hospitalization of 14 others.
Traffic had to be diverted through Kameelfontein Road from Sefako Makgatho Road and Moloto Road near China Mall, according to Tshwane Metro Police Unit.
According to insiders 63 commuters were aboard the Putco bus when mysteriously caught fire allegedly while on the move.
The insiders said the Putco bus was en-route from Marabastad in Tshwane to Tweefontein in Mpumalanga.
Charles Mabaso, EMS Spokesperson, was reported to have said the 57 commuters escaped with multiple injuries.
“While firefighters were fighting the fire, they discovered what looked like charred bodies and upon further investigation, it was found that six of the commuters had lost their life. One female patient had to be airlifted to Milpark Hospital while the other patients sustained moderate minor injuries,” Mabaso quoted.
The Executive Management of Putco has conveyed their deepest condolences to the families of the six passengers who died when the bus caught fire.
The Executive Management said it received reports at around 14:00 on 21 May 2021 about a fatal accident of bus 5795 which caught fire on Moloto Road, near Roodeplaat Dam.
“Seven passengers were treated and discharged at Kwa-Mhlanga Hospital. One passenger has been admitted with burns on their legs. Five passengers were treated and four discharged from Montana Hospital, including the driver. One has been admitted with serious injuries. There are still three passengers admitted, one at Montana, another at Steve Biko Academic Hospital and the third one at Kwa-Mhlanga Hospital. The other injured passenger was airlifted from the scene of the accident. We wish all injured passengers a speedy recovery. The PRO has been in touch with the hospitals to facilitate the necessary approvals and we will continue to provide support to the families,” read a Putco statement dated 23 May 2021.
In the statement, the company said the cause of the fire was unknown and authorities were still investigating and that the Managing Director has approved the appointment of an independent Forensic Investigator.