Not less than nine people died and more than 10 are critical after a bus overturned on the N1 outside of Touws River on Sunday morning, Western Cape paramedics said.

The bus was found lying on its side in a veld with the trailer still lying in the middle of the road around 02:00, said ER24 spokesperson Werner Vermaak.

Paramedics said the scene was “chaotic” as several people were scattered across the road surface with lots of blood everywhere.

It is believed that some were ejected from the bus as it overturned.

Local emergency services rushed 31 people to nearby health facilities.

20 others were still at the scene with various injuries at that stage, with some trapped inside the bus.

Paramedics and firefighters persevered until after 05:00 to remove critically injured people from the bus.

Lots of children were involved in the crash. It was not known at this stage if they were among those killed.

Vermaak said police would investigate the cause of the accident.

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