Eight people died yesterday, and another eight were critically injured when a Bulawayo-bound commuter omnibus they were travelling in overturned at the 13km peg along the Bulawayo-Gwanda Highway.
Report by Nduduzo Tshuma
Seven of the victims perished on the spot and another one died while being taken to the United Bulawayo Hospitals (UBH) for treatment.
Officer commanding traffic police in the southern region Chief Superintendent Peter Rwodzi said the accident occurred at around 8.10am
Police suspect the Toyota Regius vehicle burst its rear left tyre before it overturned.
Rwodzi said they were also yet to establish if the vehicle was coming from Esigodini or Gwanda.
“Seven people – four females and three males – died on the spot after the vehicle overturned,” he told journalists at the scene of the accident.
“We are still investigating, but we suspect that the cause (of the accident) was either tyre separation or a tyre burst of the left
“We will send the tyre to our forensic department for further investigation, but at the same time we are not overlooking the possibility of overspeeding.
“The tyre is a Yokohama indicating that it could be the same set of tyres that the vehicle had when it was imported into the country.
“We urge motorists to change tyres after importing these vehicles and get those that fit our weather conditions.”
The survivors were taken to UBH.
UBH chief executive officer Nonhlanhla Ndlovu said eight people were in a critical condition.
The hospital’s principal nursing officer Clara Chivonivoni took journalists to see the survivors who were being taken for X-rays.
But none of them could be interviewed as they were visibly in shock and pain.
Police had to cordon off the accident scene after scores of people arrived to view the wreckage.
Relatives of one of the deceased arrived at the scene led by Chief Gampu of Tsholotsho and positively identified her body.