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N12 crash described as 'the worst ever'

Gauteng Transport MEC Ismail Vadi says better oversight is needed to prevent future tragedies.

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

JOHANNESBURG - As families continue to gather the possessions of their loved ones after the deadly N12 crash in Alberton, emergency services have described the accident as one of the worst they have ever seen.

An 18 wheeler truck ploughed into around 50 cars on the highway this morning as motorists were making their way to work during peak hour traffic.

At least four people have died and nine others are in a serious condition in hospital.

EWN Video: Carnage on the N12.

A woman says the driver was shocked after observing what his vehicle had done.

"He kept saying 'my brakes have failed' and he was as horrified as we were at the carnage."

Meanwhile, Transport Minister Dipuo Peters says a preliminary investigation has revealed at the truck's breaks failed.

Emergency Services, Disaster Management and volunteers have spent the afternoon clearing the scene.

Workers at supermarkets in the area came out with water and first aid kits to assist paramedics in treating 59 patients.

A volunteer says they were left speechless.

"We tried to get to everyone to offer them trauma counselling."

A fourth person whose car burst into flames succumbed to his injuries at Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital this afternoon.

VADI DESCRIBES CRASH AS 'SHATTERING'

Gauteng Transport MEC Ismail Vadi has described today's deadly pile up as shattering especially during transport month.

Vadi says better oversight is needed to prevent future tragedies.

"We are in the middle of transport month and road safety is a big part of our message and it's shattering to have such large numbers of injured and dead people."

An eyewitness described the crash to Talk Radio 702's John Robbie on Tuesday morning.

The truck driver sustained minor injuries and has since been arrested.