HomeLocal News21 killed in horror crash

21 killed in horror crash

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NGUNDU, MASVINGO — Twenty-one people died while 45 others were injured — 17 of them seriously — early yesterday morning when a Beitbridge-bound cross-border bus veered off the road at the 92km peg near Ngundu business centre and rolled several times.

The accident occurred around 2am.
Police said 20 people, including the bus driver, the conductor and a two-month-old baby, died on the spot while one passenger died on admission at Masvingo General Hospital.

The bus belongs to a Harare company trading as Megalink.

Masvingo provincial police spokesperson Inspector Tinaye Matake said preliminary investigations had established that the bus driver failed to negotiate a sharp curve and hit a tree before the bus overturned and rolled several times.

“The driver lost control and failed to negotiate the sharp curve. Although investigations are still underway, we believe he was overspeeding or sleeping due to fatigue,” Matake said.

“We had to call the fire brigade to retrieve passengers who were trapped in the bus.

“We are still investigating the case, and we are yet to verify (identities of) the injured as they were quickly rushed to hospitals by well-wishers,” said Matake while addressing journalists at the accident scene.

The MP for the area, Iverne Dzingirai (Zanu PF), who was among several people at the scene, described the area as a black spot where several fatal accidents had been recorded.

“The accident is shocking, more so because several accidents have been happening at this stretch leaving many people dead,” he said.

“I think there should be reflectors at the curve to alert drivers.”

Police urged relatives to visit the hospital to help in the identification of the deceased and those injured.

“We have since opened up a police post at Masvingo General Hospital for relatives to come and identify the accident victims,” Matake said.

The accident comes hard on the heels of another fatal crash which claimed 12 lives in West Nicholson, Matabeleland South.

Another accident killed 15 members of an apostolic sect in Nyamaropa, Nyanga, a fortnight ago.

Meanwhile, seven people were injured when a Toyota Raum vehicle veered off the road and rammed into a pick-up truck at an illegal bus stop at Waverley in Kadoma on Sunday afternoon.

Mashonaland West police spokesperson Inspector Clemence Mabgweazara confirmed the accident and said Taurai Musarurwa lost control of his car and rammed into the back of a stationary Nissan Hardbody vehicle driven by Godfrey Zisengwe.

It is alleged Zisengwe had parked his vehicle at an illegal bus stop near Waverley shopping centre.
The injured included Zisengwe, one passenger in his car and three bystanders while two passengers in Musarurwa’s car sustained minor injuries.

They were rushed to Kadoma General Hospital, where five were treated and discharged while two are still admitted.

Both vehicles, driving towards Kwekwe, were extensively damaged.

Five people were killed at the same spot last year when a Tombs bus rammed into a haulage truck.
Following the tragedy, the municipality outlawed the terminus situated along the busy Harare-Bulawayo Highway, but bus operators and private motorists have continued to use the spot to pick and drop hitchhikers.

“We urge motorists to shun the undesignated terminus where we continue to record accidents, but use the Rimuka bus rank,” said Mabgweazara.

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