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Deadly Franschhoek bus crash under investigation

The bus driver lost control of the vehicle while apparently trying to avoid hitting two cyclists.

FILE: Two of the deceased are rugby players who were on their way to a match in Grabouw. Picture: Siyabonga Sesant/EWN

CAPE TOWN - The cause of a bus crash near Franschhoek that claimed three lives and injured more than two dozen people is under investigation.

Three people including two rugby players from the Franschhoek Rugby Club died in the accident on Saturday.

Denzil Boonzaier (20) and Russel Riffel (25) died after the bus veered off a cliff. The bus driver lost control of the vehicle while apparently trying to avoid hitting two cyclists.

WATCH #FranschhoekCrash 3 deaths, 26 passengers injured and two cyclists involved in the crash. SS pic.twitter.com/54iOp8EE9g

The police's Frederick van Wyk says, "Two cyclists were seriously injured and airlifted to a nearby hospital for medical treatment. A culpable homicide investigation has now been opened."

Coach Archie Johnson says he believes break failure led to the fatal bus crash.

"It is a very sharp bend to go downward, they going to turn left. It's a very sharp bend. Most of the cyclists were on the bend and what they said is the bus driver avoided to hit the cyclist."

It took authorities more than two hours to retrieve the wreckage from the bottom of the cliff.

Cyclist Jiuseppe Clorusso says he's still in shock after the crash.

Clorusso says at the time of the crash, he was riding his bike towards the mountain's summit, about three metres behind two female Italian cyclists.

"I looked up and I saw a bus screeching. You could just hear tyres completely out of control."

Clorusso says he's lucky to be alive.

"It just missed me and it wiped out the two ladies."

Twenty-six people were rushed to various hospitals in Paarl, Stellenbosch and Cape Town.