Two UK students killed in road crash in South Africa

Two British female students have been killed in a road accident in north-eastern South Africa.

The tourist bus was carrying 18 British students, two British teachers, a Zimbabwean driver and a South African guide.

The BBC's Karen Allen said a male student had been critically injured in the accident near Nelspruit.

The trip had been organised by Chameleon Worldwide, Hampshire, and the students are aged 18-22.

Managing director Mark Wright said it was a "tragic event" and would not name the college involved because relatives were still being contacted.

Hospital The emergency number for anyone concerned is 01962 737634.

He said they were relying on local reports for information and some casualties had been airlifted to hospital.

A team was on the ground dealing with the incident, he said, and more people from the company would be flying out on Thursday.

"We have a senior director and other members of staff flying out late this afternoon and we have offered relatives and next of kin of those affected for us to co-ordinate their travel arrangements," he said.

Brooksby Melton College in Leicestershire said it was aware that some of its students were involved in the crash.

Spokeswoman Jackie West said: "We are aware that our students have been involved in an incident on an organised trip. We've no official confirmation of any injuries or fatalities."

'Pretty treacherous' It is understood the group was not in South Africa for the World Cup and was due to return home on Friday.

According to local reports the bus swerved and overturned on a road, and some of the injured were trapped under the vehicle for a period of time.

Local reporters said some of the injured were trapped under the vehicle The BBC's Karen Allen in South Africa said the region was mountainous and the roads were "pretty treacherous", but the infrastructure in the surrounding area was good and ambulances would have been quick to get to the scene.

A statement issued on behalf of Captain Leonard Hlathi, from Mpumalanga Province, said the accident happened at noon local time.

Twenty people had been injured and many had been treated at the scene before being taken to a local hospital, he said.

"A tour truck carrying British tourists was travelling from Swaziland via Barberton (R40 between Josephsdal Border Post & Barberton) to Nelspruit in Mpumalanga when the vehicle left the road," he added.

"A medical doctor responsible for tourist safety, as well as a bus safety inspector from the provincial traffic department are both at the scene."