Ten people died on the spot while 14 others were injured, eight of them seriously, on Sunday morning when a sand-laden lorry they were travelling in missed the bridge and plunged into Mungazi River in Chipinge.
Acting Manicaland provincial police spokesperson Inspector Enock Chishiri confirmed the accident, adding eight of the injured people were still admitted at Chipinge District Hospital.
Chishiri said the accident occurred at Mungazi River Bridge along the Rimbi-Mungazi gravel road. The 24 passengers had boarded the lorry on their way home after attending a church meeting in the same area.
“Ten people died on the spot when an overloaded lorry with 24 people and river sand plunged into the river on Sunday morning,” Chishiri said.
“The driver, Farai Tendai Gatura, was ferrying river sand in the area when he picked up the 24 whom we believe were coming from a church meeting. On approaching the Mungazi River Bridge, the driver lost control of the overloaded truck and it veered off the road to the left side and subsequently plunged into the river.” Police said the names of the deceased would be disclosed after their next of kin had been informed.
Meanwhile, a local councillor, Herbert Madoyo (Ward 23), said all the accident victims were members of the Holy Nation Church and were coming from a baptism session along Mungazi River.
“We live in the same area with those people and they asked for transport on their way from the baptism session. The driver, who is well known to them all, tried to warn them that he could not accommodate all of them in his loaded truck, but no one dared to listen,” Madoyo said. Last month 26 people were killed in different road accidents countrywide.