Bus drivers must be retested - RTMC

Putco has been instructed to provide answers about the Meyerton bus crash in which 19 people died.

A crane pulls a Putco bus out from a ravine following a fatal accident on 25 June, 2012. Theo Nkonki/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Bus company Putco has been instructed to provide answers about Monday's crash in Meyerton, south of Johannesburg, in which 19 people died and 55 others were injured.

The loaded bus crashed through an embankment and plunged into a ravine on Verwoerd Road, just off the R55 highway.

Netcare 911 officials believe the driver lost control of the vehicle but had no information on the events that led to the crash.

As curious on-lookers gathered around the accident scene and watched in disbelief, a tow truck slowly pulled the mangled bus from the ravine where the lives of dozens ended.

The last of the lifeless bodies were removed through a broken window and covered with blue body bags.

Injured persons were transported to hospitals in surrounding areas.

Gauteng police and forensic experts stayed at the scene, investigating possible the cause of the tragedy.

Meanwhile, Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) spokesperson Ashraf Ismail said public transport drivers should be retested to end the carnage on South Africa's roads.

"The fact that 19 families are going to be torn apart is one that really kills us," he said.