Three teenagers have died and five more were listed in critical condition after a bridge linking classrooms at a school collapsed.
The incident occurred in Vanderbijlpark, a city about 40 miles south of Johannesburg.
All relevant emergency services are at the #SchoolBridgeCollapse accident scene at Hoërskool Driehoek, Vanderbijlpark, where roughly 20 learners are being treated for minor to critical injuries. Four fatalities have been reported. This is a developing story. CG pic.twitter.com/vybgG8hDp8
— OFM News (@OFMNews9497) 1 February 2019
Panyaza Lesufi, the head of the Gauteng Province Education Department, told ABC News that 26 other schoolchildren were injured when the walkway collapsed.
“We’ve shut down the school until further notice to investigate how this could have happened,” Lesufi said.
Tragedy: Moments ago a walkway collapsed at Höerskool Driehoek, Sedibeng Region. Sadly ?? three (3) learners died on the scene and scores are still trapped in the rubble. I am on my way to the scene. #HöerskoolDriehook
— Panyaza Lesufi (@Lesufi) 1 February 2019
Lesufi also extended his condolences to the families of the deceased pupils, who ranged in age from 14 to 17.
Three of the critically injured students were airlifted to the hospital, a spokesperson for Netcare 911, an emergency response company, told ABC News.
The cause of the collapse remains under investigation, authorities said.
This is a breaking story. Please check back for updates.