/ 9 April 2009

Cement truck ploughs into 17 vehicles, killing two people

Two people died in hospital following an accident involving a cement truck and several other cars in Pretoria on Thursday, police said.

Captain Colette Weilbach said a man and woman, who were among those injured in the accident on the N1 highway which involved 17 vehicles, had died in hospital.

The crash happened on the N1 north between Rigel and Atterbury roads at about 2am on Thursday.

”A truck with a load of cement came from the back and it appears as if the brakes of the truck failed,” said Weilbach.

”This resulted in a major chain collision in which a total of 17 vehicles were involved. The front part of the truck, two bakkies and two vehicles burned out at the scene.

”The truck driver ran away from the scene,” Weilbach added.

City officials earlier said the off ramps were expected to be closed for most of Thursday.

”It is estimated that clearing-up operations may last the entire day. Alternative routes to be used are R21 and R101 northwards directions,” said Pretoria spokesperson Console Tleane. — Sapa