A minibus taxi that crashed into a barrier and rolled down an embankment in Kwa-Zulu Natal on Sunday, leaving 18 people dead, had no brakes and was overloaded, the KwaZulu-Natal transport department has said.
The incident happened on the main road in the Msunduzi area.
"There were 26 people in the 16-seater minibus and the preliminary mechanical investigation revealed that the minibus had no brakes," the department said in a statement.
Minister of Transport Joe Maswanganyi has offered his condolences to the families of the deceased. ER24 spokesperson Russel Meiring said the minibus was found lying on its roof at the bottom of the embankment.
Fifteen bodies were found lying around the vehicle. He said paramedics found that all 15 passengers had already succumbed to their multiple injuries.
Meiring said paramedics were informed that members of the community had rushed approximately 12 patients to a nearby clinic, roughly 100 metres away.
Three people died while being treated. The remaining patients were transported to hospital for further treatment.
The taxi has been impounded for further investigation. The Road Traffic Management Corporation will investigate the crash.