At least three students are dead after a walkway collapsed at a school outside Johannesburg, a South African official said Friday.

Panyaza Lesufi, the head of education for Gauteng province, posted the toll on Twitter shortly after the collapse at the Hoerskool Driehoek high school in Vanderbijlpark. Two boys and a girl were killed, Lesufi said.

“It is painful to see those tiny bodies in that state,” he said. The school has been closed. Lesufi had reported “scores” trapped but an Associated Press witness later said no one remained in the rubble.

It was not immediately clear what caused the collapse. Local media posted photos of a large slab and scattered bricks with the scene blocked off by emergency tape.

Emergency services provider Netcare911 said at least four people may have died and at least five people were critically injured.

The national Department of Education extended condolences to the families of the students killed.

A statement by AfriForum, a civil society group that represents the rights of Afrikaners, sent out a notice urging people to avoid the area so as not to interfere with the work of emergency responders.

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Associated Press video journalist Nqobile Ntshangase in Vanderbijlpark contributed.

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Police tape cordons off the site of a walkway collapse at the Driehoek High School in Vanderbijlpark, South Africa, Friday, Feb. (AP Photo)
Police tape cordons off the site of a walkway collapse at the Driehoek High School in Vanderbijlpark, South Africa, Friday, Feb. (AP Photo)

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