By AFP

Johannesburg. Sixteen people were burnt to death on Tuesday when a minibus taxi and an SUV collided on a highway in South Africa’s northeastern Limpopo province, a local official said.

The SUV driver lost control after a tyre burst and collided head-on with a 22-seater Mercedes-Benz bus, provincial transport ministry spokesman Mike Maringa told AFP on Wednesday.

“The bus burst into flames and 16 occupants trapped inside were burnt alive,” he said.

The SUV driver was killed on impact, he said. Eight other people survived with injuries.

Privately-owned minibus taxis are widely used by the commuting public in South Africa.

Despite having one of the most developed highway networks on the continent, South Africa has one of the world’s worst records for road safety — a phenomenon usually blamed on poor driving.

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Nearly 1,500 people were killed on the roads during the Christmas holidays, according to government.

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