45 killed, 1 survives after bus falls off bridge in South Africa

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A bus taking worshippers to an Easter festival fell from a bridge and burst into flames in South Africa on Thursday, killing 45 people.

An 8-year-old girl was the sole survivor. She was seriously injured but is receiving medical treatment.

The incident occurred in the northern province of Limpopo when the bus crashed through a barrier and went off a bridge on the Mmamatlakala mountain pass, about 200 miles north of Johannesburg. It fell more than 150 feet into a ravine and burst into flames.

The Limpopo provincial government said many of the bodies were burned beyond recognition but a recovery effort was ongoing.

Officials said the bus was likely headed from neighboring Botswana to Moria, a popular destination for Easter festivities that typically draws hundreds of thousands of pilgrims.

Minister of Transport Sindisiwe Chikunga said the cause of the crash was under investigation, but it appeared the driver lost control of the vehicle.

Chikunga said the government would work to repatriate the bodies

South Africa, which has poor road safety conditions, typically sees an increase in traffic deaths around the Easter holiday. More than 200 people died in crashes during the Easter weekend last year.

With News Wire Services

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