Leicester

Six survivors of Africa bus crash return to UK

Student's overturned bus in South Africa
Image caption Three students died in the bus crash

Six survivors of a South Africa bus crash in which three British students were killed have flown back to the UK to be reunited with family and friends.

The students from Brooksby Melton College in Leicestershire were on a field trip as part of a degree in animal management and welfare.

Eleanor Payne and Samantha Lake, both 19, were killed when the bus crashed on a bend on Thursday morning.

Fellow student Daniel Greenwood, 22, died later in hospital.

'Deeply shocked'

There were 18 students and two teachers on the trip.

Tour operator Chameleon said the survivors had landed at Heathrow Airport on a South African Airways flight from Johannesburg on Saturday morning.

The college said the six were "understandably distressed following the tragic bus crash" and the others would follow when they were fit to travel.

The college's assistant principal Mark Bendle said: "We are extremely relieved at the safe return of six of our students to the UK.

"However, our thoughts are with those that are still in South Africa and the families and friends of those who tragically died there."

The group were on a wildlife study tour in the country and were travelling from Swaziland to Nelspruit to visit a monkey sanctuary when their bus overturned on the Bulembu road.

The injured students, who range in age from 18 to 30, are understood to have suffered injuries ranging from a fractured spine to head and facial lacerations, broken ribs and collar bones.

Running late

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

The bus, which was certified roadworthy, was on its way to Leo's Campsite when the accident happened, with the group planning to visit Chimpanzee Eden.

They were running late because the day had started with mist but by the time of the accident it is thought the weather had cleared.

Post-mortem examinations have been carried out on the three crash victims and their bodies will be flown back to the UK from Johannesburg.

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