MUTARE — The death toll in the Nyanga commuter omnibus accident which occurred on Sunday morning has risen to 18 after two more crash victims died at Mutare Provincial Hospital and the bus driver died while being transferred to Harare yesterday.
The three were among the 29 critically injured who were initially admitted at Regina Coeli Hospital before their transfer to Nyanga District Hospital and subsequently to Mutare Provincial Hospital.
Fifteen people died on Sunday after their hired commuter omnibus veered off the road and crashed into a stone embankment along the Nyanga-Nyamaropa Road.
They were members of the Johane Masowe Wechishanu Jerusarema sect going to a church gathering in Kadzere, Nyanga.
Police confirmed the new death toll, but withheld the deceased’s identities saying their next of kin were yet to be informed.
The site has become a black spot after 89 students and teachers at Regina Coeli Secondary School perished there after their hired bus crashed in 1991.
Last year, 19 people from Nyanga died at the same spot after a lorry they were travelling in overturned when the driver failed to negotiate a sharp curve.
Manicaland acting police provincial spokesperson Inspector Enock Chishiri yesterday said the commuter omnibus driver, Akiel Mazanhi, died on his way to Harare for specialist treatment, while two more adults died at Mutare Provincial Hospital.
He said the injured were still admitted at the hospital where their condition was said to be critical.
“The death toll has risen to 18 following the death of the bus driver on his way to Harare yesterday, while two others died on admission at Mutare Provincial Hospital.
“Among the admitted passengers, several are in a critical state. Most of them sustained fractured legs,” Chishiri said.
He said police were still investigating the cause of accident, but preliminary indications pointed to speeding and overloading.
The 26-seater Tafara Nago Tours bus had 44 passengers on board.