The Cops in Hoedspruit outside Phalaborwa are investigating a case of culpable homicide in which 9 people perished following a head on collision involving two motor vehicles along the R531 road towards Swadini.

Police spokesperson Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo said it is alleged that a Toyota bakkie 4x4 single cab travelling from Swadini direction collided head-on with a Toyota Avanza travelling from the direction of Hoespruit.

He said during this collision, eight people died instantly, two were transported to hospital for medical treatment. One of them later succumbed to the injuries.

He said members of the Endangered Species Unit of the SAPS were also summoned to the scene after the discovery of a consignment of buckets full of snake skins, dried star fish, dried crabs and a lot other marine dead animals.

They were apparently carried in the back of the bakkie. Investigations into their origin are unfolding.

Mojapelo said it is not yet established how many people were inside each vehicle and the process of identifying the deceased is still underway.

The cause of the accident is still unknown but Police investigations are ongoing.