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Bus crash death toll rises to 24

At least 24 church members have lost their lives in the Hex River Valley bus accident.

Atlantic Coaches crashed in the Hex River Valley killing 24 people on 15 March 2012. Picture: Renee de Villiers/EWN

CAPE TOWN - The death toll from the bus crash on the Hex River Pass near De Doorns in the Western Cape now stands at 24.

Health authorities said two of the deceased are children.

About 80 members of a Khayelitsha church group were on board the Atlantic Coaches bus when it crashed into the Hex River Valley on Friday morning.

It is understood the driver of the bus, which was en-route to Cape Town from Secunda, lost control of the vehicle causing it to overturn.

The Health Department's Faiza Steyn says dozens have been injured.

"We have eight very critically injured patients of which three are children. Fifteen others are seriously injured and 22 are lightly injured."

Meanwhile, the leader of the 12 Apostle Church in Christ said he is shocked by the news of the tragic bus crash.

Dumisani Cimi said the church group was attended a mass prayer meeting.

He said losing so many members in one accident is a huge blow.

A man, whose wife was on board the bus, said she managed to call him shortly after the accident occurred.

He rushed to the accident scene only to be told she was already transported to a hospital in Worcester.

The man told Eyewitness News he is glad she is alive.

Authorities are still on the scene.