Cape Times

Sole survivor of bus crash discharged

- JONISAYI MAROMO jonisayi.maromo@inl.co.za

THE 8-year-old girl from neighbouri­ng Botswana, sole survivor of the bus crash in which 45 Botswana nationals died in Limpopo, has been discharged from hospital.

The child, Lorraine Atlang Siako, was escorted by medical care workers and government officials to the Polokwane Internatio­nal Airport to catch an hour-long connecting flight to OR Tambo Internatio­nal Airport in Johannesbu­rg on Wednesday.

From Johannesbu­rg, Lorraine and her mother were scheduled to catch a flight back to Botswana.

Last week, near Mamatlakal­a, in Limpopo, a bus ferrying Botswana nationals careened out of control and plunged off a bridge on a mountain pass. The ill-fated bus had been travelling from Botswana’s capital Gaborone to the popular Saint Engenas Zion Christian Church in Limpopo for the annual Easter service.

Speaking to broadcaste­r eNCA, Limpopo MEC for Health Dr Phophi Ramathuba said the girl had undergone an operation in Limpopo and was given the green light to travel back home.

“She has fully recovered and her wounds were satisfacto­rily (healed), such that we can discharge her. When I had a conversati­on with her, she could now start narrating what she remembers – the bus speeding. I am sure it was the time the driver was trying to negotiate the bend on the road,” said the MEC, also a medical doctor.

When she gained consciousn­ess, Lorraine managed to recite her mother’s phone numbers in Botswana and the parent was contacted.

At the time of the crash, Lorraine was travelling with her grandmothe­r who, along with the other passengers, perished in the horrific crash.

According to preliminar­y reports, the driver lost control of the bus, causing it to hit the barriers on a bridge. This caused the bus to plunge over the edge and catch fire on impact.

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