N12 accident: Death toll rises to 4

An 18-wheeler articulated truck ploughed through around 50 cars on the N12 highway.

Several cars were involved in a massive accident after a truck lost control and crashed into other cars on the N12 East near the Voortrekker offramp on 14 October 2014. Picture: EWN Traffic.

JOHANNESBURG - The death toll from this morning's fatal multi-vehicle crash in Alberton has now risen to four.

A large section of the N12 highway was brought to a standstill after an 18-wheeler articulated truck ploughed through around 50 cars.

The driver has since been arrested and officials are trying to clear the highway.

It's emerged a man whose car caught fire during this morning's accident has succumbed to his injuries.

He was the first patient to be airlifted to Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital.

EWN Video: N12 accident aftermath.

Another person also died at the Union Hospital in Alberton, bringing the death toll to four.

At the scene trucks are being filled with shoes, handbags and other personal belongings strewn on the highway.

Disaster management's William Ntladi says the roads should be re-opened shortly.

"The road is still closed but there is progress as most of the cars involved in the accident have been removed."

A total of 9 people remain in a critical condition in various hospitals.

Meanwhile, Transport Minister Dipuo Peters said a preliminary report shows brake failure is to blame for the crash.

Peters said the driver of the truck has acknowledged the brakes failed on the N12 highway and he has since been arrested.

EWN Video: Carnage on the N12.

The minister added that she's shocked by the sheer scale of this morning's crash.

All pictures by EWN.