Melton college students on South Africa fatal crash bus

Nicolene Smalman from the Lowvelder newspaper gives more details about the accident

Two British women died when a bus carrying students from a Leicestershire college overturned in South Africa.

Brooksby Melton College, an agricultural college in Asfordby Road, Melton Mowbray, confirmed its students were on the bus.

The vehicle is reported to have swerved and overturned near Nelspruit.

The Foreign Office confirmed two students died in the incident and said relatives had been contacted.

A number of passengers have also been hurt and one man is reported to be critically injured.

The bus was carrying 18 students from the college, said Chameleon Worldwide, the Hampshire firm which organised the trip.

Two teachers, a Zimbabwean driver and a South African guide were also on board.

Due home

The students were believed to be studying animal management and welfare.

A spokeswoman for the firm said: "We can confirm that no other colleges were on this trip and only students from Leicestershire were involved."

Managing director Mark Wright said it was a "tragic event".

Map Local reporters said some of the injured were trapped under the vehicle

It is understood the group was not in South Africa for the World Cup and they were due to return home on Friday.

In a statement, the college said: "We can confirm our students are involved in an incident on an organised trip.

"We are working under guidance of the trip organiser's crisis management services, and are in touch with the organisers."

Nicola Brewer, the British High Commissioner to South Africa, said: "It is with great sadness that I can confirm that two British Nationals have been killed in a coach crash in Baberton, near Nelspruit.

"They were part of a group of 18 students and two of their lecturers on a field trip.

"The latest information I have is that a small number have been injured. They are being treated in the Nelspruit area.

"Our thoughts and sympathies are with the families and loved ones of those involved.

"I am leading a crisis team that is now on its way to Nelspruit. Our first priority is to visit the injured in hospital and get in touch with their families back home."

David Parsons, Leader of Leicestershire County Council, said: "This is clearly an appalling tragedy and our thoughts are with relatives and families of those two young people who have lost their lives.

"We are contacting the college to offer any help and support we can."

The emergency number for next of kin to call is 01962 737634.

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