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Education dept investigates bus accident

by Gabi Khumalo
on 13 Mar 2008
BuaNews Online
BuaNews Online

The Western Cape Department of Education is to conduct a full investigation into the cause of a school bus accident involving pupils and teachers from Beacon School in Mitchell's Plain.

About 40 pupils and six staff members were injured when the driver of the school bus they were travelling in lost control and overturned on the R300 outside Bellville.

The school children, who have special educational needs, were making their way to a Special Olympics event.

The injured pupils and staff were taken to the Mitchell's Plain Day Hospital, GF Jooste Emergency Hospital and Tygerberg Hospital for observation and were later discharged.

Five pupils were treated by medics for cuts, scratches and bruises.

Education MEC Cameron Dugmore said the department will investigate the accident in consultation with the school and relevant authorities.

He said while he believed all safety measures were adhered to at Beacon School it was still important to conduct a full investigation into the cause of the accident.

Mr Dugmore said the accident was a reminder for our schools, the community and the department to continue to be vigilant.

He added that although the accident has come as a shock to all concerned, he was deeply thankful that there were no fatalities.

"This incident underlines the need for all of us to be continually vigilant, we have put in place stringent safety requirements for learner transport procured by the department and for transport schemes managed by schools themselves.

He further appealed to the schools utilising their own transport, department transport and transport contracted by themselves for outings to ensure that the guidelines are adhered to at all times.

Mr Dugmore assured the school that his department will continue to provide emotional support and trauma counseling.

"I want to thank all officials for their incredible support and assistance provided to the pupils and teachers involved," Mr Dugmore said. - BuaNews

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