Bus carrying Easter worshippers falls off cliff killing 45 people in South Africa

Dozens of worshippers died after a bus headed to an Easter conference apparently “lost control” and “plunged” off a cliff in South Africa’s Limpopo province on Thursday, the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) reported.

The crash claimed the lives of 45 people and one is seriously injured, the country’s transport department said in a statement.

An eight-year-old girl who survived has been airlifted to hospital, the public broadcaster reported.

According to SABC, the passengers were pilgrims traveling from Gaborone - the capital city of neighboring country Botswana - to a church for an Easter conference.

The cause of the crash is under investigation.

The crash happened in the Mamatlakala mountain pass between Mokopane and Marken, where the bus caught fire once it fell, public broadcaster SABC reported.

South African Transport Minister Sindisiwe Chikunga said the government will repatriate the bodies to Botswana, the broadcaster said.

“I am sending my heartfelt condolences to the families affected by the tragic bus crash near Mamatlakala. Our thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time. We continue to urge responsible driving at all times with heightened alertness as more people are on our roads this Easter weekend,” Chikunga said in a statement.

This is a developing story and will be updated.

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