8-Year-Old Girl, Sole Survivor of South Africa Bus Crash, Is in Stable Condition

An 8-year-old girl who was the sole survivor of a bus crash that killed 44 worshipers from Botswana on an Easter pilgrimage in South Africa was in stable condition with minor injuries on Friday, the provincial health authorities said.

While investigators were still picking through the wreckage to recover bodies and determine what happened, family and friends of the deceased were still trying to make sense of what happened to their loved ones.

The worshipers were traveling from the branch of the St. Engenas Zion Christian Church in Molepolole, a village about an hour outside of Botswana’s capital, Gaborone, on Thursday when the driver lost control on a sharp turn through a mountainous region in northeastern South Africa.

The bus plunged 165 feet off an overpass and crashed into a rocky ravine, where it burst into flames, the authorities said. The driver also died.

Segametsi David, an elder at the church, said that worshipers had taken regular pilgrimages to the denomination’s headquarters in Moria, South Africa, but had never traveled on the winding, mountainous route where the crash happened.

Ms. David was going around the community on Friday meeting with families of victims, she said.

“We cried last night,” she said. “Right now, we don’t have tears. We are just trying to encourage those that lost loved ones. But it’s hard.”

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