Melton college shocked over South Africa crash deaths

Mark Bendle, Assistant principal of Brooksby Melton College Mark Bendle said the deaths deeply affected everyone at the college

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The fatal bus crash which killed three Leicestershire students has "deeply affected" Brooksby Melton College in Melton Mowbray, an official said.

Eleanor Payne, Samantha Lake, both 19, and Daniel Greenwood, 22, were killed when their tour bus overturned during a field trip in South Africa.

Assistant Principlal Mark Bendle said: "This reaches and affects far more than just those involved."

The church at the campus was opened for people to leave flowers.

Mr Bendle said: "We intend to brief staff so that they are able to inform and support our students here at the college.

"We will be providing counselling and support today for all our students and staff who have been deeply affected by what has happened."

Start Quote

We are all deeply shocked and our thoughts and concerns are for the students, their families and staff involved”

End Quote Chris Ball College Principal

The church on the college's campus, in Melton Mowbray, was open on Friday for people to leave flowers and messages of support.

Efforts were being made to bring staff and students home as soon as possible.

Ms Lake and Ms Payne died at the scene on the Bulembu road, a few miles from Barberton near Nelspruit. Mr Greenwood died later in hospital.

Another eight students from the further education college were kept in the Nelspruit hospital for observation.

The two course lecturers on the trip were among those admitted to hospital.

The group of 18 students were studying for a foundation degree in animal management and welfare and were on a wildlife study tour in the region.

Their bus was travelling from Swaziland to visit a monkey sanctuary when the crash happened.

'Time to grieve'

Brooksby Melton College principal Chris Ball said: "We are all deeply shocked and our thoughts and concerns are for the students, their families and staff involved.

"We would like to assure all our students and their parents and families that we will support them at this very difficult time."

The college said it was considering sending additional staff to South Africa to provide support.

Ms Payne's parents operate a bed and breakfast business at their farm, close to the M69 motorway near Hinckley, Leicestershire.

Speaking from the family home, Ms Payne's sister Lauren was overcome with emotion.

"We need to have time to grieve for Eleanor," she said.

Diane Smith, a family friend of the Paynes, paid tribute to "a wonderful girl" with a lovely personality.

The proprietor of Holly Lodge Boarding Cattery, in Nuneaton, where Ms Payne worked at the weekends, said: "I'm still in shock at the moment. We know her family. We have known her since she was two years old.

"She was here every Sunday working for us, saving money for South Africa."

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