CAPE TOWN: A South African road crash claimed 27 lives on Thursday, the government said, after a heavy duty truck ploughed into traffic near the eastern city of Durban.
"Close on 30 others sustained injuries ranging from critical to serious and minor," said Department of Transport spokesman Tiyani Rikhoto.
The 18-wheeler truck allegedly failed to stop at a traffic light and collided with four mini bus taxis and a car at around 6:00 pm (1600 GMT), said Chris Botha, spokesman for paramedic service Netcare 911.
The scene in Pinetown, 16 kilometres or 10 miles west of Durban, was "absolutely horrific", he said.
It is alleged that the brakes on the truck failed, said Kwanele Ncalane, a spokesman for the provincial transport ministry. The driver was arrested.
South Africa battles a high rate of road fatalities, with about 38 lives lost per day, a report said this week. (AFP)