A bus traveling to an Easter gathering in South Africa crashed Thursday, killing at least 45 people.

An 8-year-old girl who was in the crash is currently “receiving medical attention at a nearby hospital” for serious injuries, according to a Facebook statement posted by the Limpopo Department of Transport and Community Safety.

South African authorities claimed that the bus driver collided with bridge barriers after losing control of the vehicle, reported Reuters.

The accident occurred on the “Mma Matlakala Bridge between Marken and Mokopane in the northern province of Limpopo, South Africa” — roughly 200 miles north of Johannesburg, per People.

Bus crash in South Africa

Limpopo’s safety department’s Facebook statement said that the bus caught fire after it “fell onto a rocky surface, some 50-metres (about 164 feet) under the bridge.” Some passengers died in the fire, while others died as a result of the fall.

Authorities have retrieved 12 bodies so far from the crash site, according to CNN. The survivor was airlifted from the scene.

The South African Broadcasting Corporation stated in a news release that the bus was carrying 45 pilgrim passengers traveling from Gaborone, Botswana, to an Easter conference held at Zion Christian Church in the town of Moria, Limpopo Province.

The wreckage of a bus lays in a ravine a day after it plunged off a bridge on the Mmamatlakala mountain pass between Mokopane and Marken, around 300km (190 miles) north of Johannesburg, South Africa, Friday, March 29, 2024. The bus carrying worshippers on a long-distance trip from Botswana to an Easter weekend church gathering in South Africa plunged off a bridge on a mountain pass Thursday and burst into flames as it hit the rocky ground below, killing at least 45 people, authorities said. The only survivor was an 8-year-old child who was receiving medical attention for serious injuries. | Themba Hadebe

Reactions to the bus crash

South African president Cyril Ramaphosa reportedly called and offered his condolences to Botswana President Mokgweetsi Masisi, per The Associated Press.

The area’s minister of transport, Sindisiwe Chikunga, has also sent her condolences to the bereaved families.

“I am sending my heartfelt condolences to the families affected by the tragic bus crash near Mamatlakala,” Chikunga said in a statement, per CNN. “Our thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time. We continue to urge responsible driving at all times with heightened alertness as more people are on our roads this Easter weekend.”

CNN reported that authorities have arranged a minibus to take relatives to the scene and visit the young girl who survived.

According to The Associated Press, the South African government often warns drivers to be careful during Easter weekend, as roads can be both busy and dangerous. More than 200 people died from traffic accidents over the holiday weekend last year, the article said.

“Just a day before the bus crash, the South African government called on people to be extra careful on Thursday and Friday because of the expected high volumes traveling by road to Moria,” The Associated Press reported.