Five perish in Pietermaritzburg fire

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Five people have burnt to death when a fire broke out at their home in Willowton in Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu Natal on Thursday morning.

ER24 spokesperson Werner Vermaak says the dead include three adults and two young children.

Vermaak says the cause of the fire is unknown at this stage and investigations are continuing.

On Wednesday, five people burnt beyond recognition when a van collided with a minibus taxi between Derby and Ventersdorp, North West Community Safety and Transport Management said.

Spokesperson Thabo Sematle said the accident occurred on Tuesday night, along the R30 road linking Rustenburg and Ventersdorp.

“According to the law enforcement authorities at the scene, both vehicles caught fire by the time of collision having seven people certified died on the scene, where five of them are reported to have burned beyond recognition and two were rushed to the nearest hospital whereby one passenger died on arrival and one still on stable condition.”

He said the van was traveling from the Ventersdorp direction to Derby with two people, while the minibus taxi with seven people including the driver was travelling from Derby towards the Ventersdorp direction.

“It is reported that the minibus was from the Marikana heading to Matatiele in the Eastern Cape.”

The cause of the accidents was not yet known, a case of culpable homicide have been opened. Additional reporting by ANA