Police say 20 people died when a burst tire sent a passenger bus out of control in central South Africa and caused it to veer into a muddy stream.

Police said on Saturday the dead included a child of about eight months and the driver. Another 18 passengers were injured. Transport Minister Sibusiso Ndebele sent experts to investigate and offered condolences to the victims.

Reckless driving -- sometimes fuelled by alcohol -- and poor maintenance of mass transportation vehicles are often cited in deadly accidents. The transport minister launched a crackdown in October, stepping up spot checks of vehicles and drivers and urging South Africans to be cautious on the roads.

More In: International | News