Eight South African Military Health Service reservists were killed and eight others injured in an accident in the Free State this morning, paramedics and the military say.
Netcare 911 spokesperson Chris Botha said the accident, involving three “heavy duty trucks” and a military minibus, happened between Montrose and Van Reenen on the N3 around 5am.
“Eight of the SANDF personnel died on the scene,” said Botha.
The military says the eight were of 1 Medical Battalion Group.
The medics were travelling from Pretoria back to their home unit in Durban when the accident happened. “Seven other members were injured in the accident, of these members; one member is in a stable condition in a Ladysmith hospital while six members were evacuated to Bethlehem,” the military said in a statement.
“The South African Police is investigating the accident. Funeral arrangements of the deceased will be announced once confirmed by their next of kin.
“Minister (Lindiwe) Sisulu, the Acting Secretary for Defence, Mr Tsepe Motumi, the Chief of the South African National Defence Force, General Ngwenya, Surgeon General of the South African Military Health Service, Lieutenant General Vejaynand Ramlakan and Chief Defence Reserves, Major General Roy Andersen, expressed their shock at the incident and have extended their sincerest condolences to the families and friends of the deceased,” the statement added.
“The Minister also wishes the injured … a speedy recovery.”
The cause of the accident is not known.