Three people are killed when a huge wave slams Durban beach, South Africa.

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JOHANNESBURG (AP) — South Africa’s coastal city of Durban has closed its North Beach after three people died when they were hit by a large wave, emergency officials said on Sunday.

The Emergency Medical Services “responded to reports of a freak wave that swept a group of beachgoers against the pier causing multiple injuries,” EMS spokesman Njabulo Dlungele said. “Unfortunately three people, including a teenager, were declared deceased at the scene.”

Nlungele reported that 17 people were also taken by Nlungele to medical facilities for treatment following being injured by the wave.

According to the municipality more than 35 lifeguards were involved in the rescue efforts and helped more than 100 people who were affected by the tsunami. The municipality stated that an investigation was launched into the incident.

Durban is often bustling with activity during holiday season, drawing tourists from all over the world to its beaches.

This year’s festive season is expected to attract many travelers eager to return to the beaches after the years when COVID-19 lockdowns and precautions reduced tourism in Durban.

After being closed by high levels of E.coli in some beaches, the port city of South Africa’s eastern Indian Ocean Coast has begun to reopen its beaches. This was after several were damaged during devastating floods that occurred in KwaZulu-Natal earlier this year.

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