JOHANNESBURG (AP) — South Africa’s coastal city of Durban has closed its North Beach after three people died when they were caught in a freak wave.

Emergency services spokesman Njabulo Dlungele said on Sunday that a freak wave swept a group of beachgoers against a pier, causing the deaths.

He said that at least 17 people were injured and taken to medical facilities for treatment.

According to the municipality, more than 35 lifeguards were involved in rescue efforts, attending to over 100 people who were affected by the massive wave.

Durban is usually a hive of activity around the holiday season, attracting local and international tourists to its beaches.

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