Hoërskool Driehoek in Vanderbijlpark has temporarily closed following a structural collapse at the school on Friday morning.
Three pupils were confirmed dead on the scene while more than 20 others were injured.
Addressing the media, Gauteng MEC for Education Panyaza Lesufi said a pathway connecting the main school building to classes collapsed at around 8.10am, leaving several pupils trapped.
Eyewitness News reporter Christa Eybers says emergency vehicles are still on the scene.
It is understood the walkway collapsed as the children left the hall after assembly.— Christa Eybers, Reporter - Eyewitness News
Overall, 26 children were affected by the disaster. Unfortunately, three of them died, five of them were critical and taken to nearby hospital. Lesufi says the school has been closed for safety reasons until investigations are complete, so there will be no schooling at the school until further notice.— Christa Eybers, Reporter - Eyewitness News
We are actually at the walkway. It does seem that it is under construction at the moment but I do not have exact details of when the construction started.— Christa Eybers, Reporter - Eyewitness News
ER 24's Russell Meiring says a lot of the pupils have sustained crush injuries and fractures.
There were some children that fortunately escaped with only minor bruises such as bumps and bruises.— Russell Meiring, Paramedic - ER 24
Meanwhile, the Gauteng Education Department's spokesperson Steve Mabona says the process of identifying the deceased pupils is underway.
One deceased learner has been positively identified, but the two, we are still interacting with the school...— Steve Mabona, Spokesperson - Gauteng Education Department
The decision has been taken to temporarily close the school. There won't be any schooling, the only thing that will be happening is the counselling while we are still waiting for the building to be declared safe before we can open it up again.— Steve Mabona, Spokesperson - Gauteng Education Department
Police have already started with their investigation. We will then leave it to the authorities to do their work.— Steve Mabona, Spokesperson - Gauteng Education Department
Mabona says the school is communicating with parents.
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