9 die, 39 injured in horrific bus collision

More seriously injured passengers and one of the drivers were taken to Gwanda and Bulawayo referral hospitals.

NINE people died and 39 others were injured when two buses collided 10 kilometres outside Beitbridge along the highway to Harare in the early hours of yesterday.

A bus belonging to  City Bus was Harare-bound and the Blue Circle  bus was headed the opposite direction.

Bodies of the deceased were taken to  the Beitbridge Hospital mortuary.

The injured were ferried to the same hospital where staff were kept on their feet throughout the night untill midday yesterday.

The horror crash occurred around 1am.

More seriously injured passengers and one of the drivers were taken to Gwanda and Bulawayo referral hospitals.

Police confirmed  the accident.

“In another fatal road traffic accident which occurred on 16/03/24 at around 0100 hours at the 267 kilometre peg along Masvingo-Beitbridge Road, nine people were killed whilst 39 others were injured when a Blue Circle bus and City bus were involved in a head on collision,” police said in a statement.

“The bodies of the victims were taken to Beitbridge District General Hospital mortuary for post mortem whilst the injured are admitted at the same hospital.”

Earlier Beitbridge police district acting officer commanding Superintendent Philisani Ndebele said initial indications were that one of the buses hit a donkey, which resulted in the collision.

"Preliminary investigations have revealed that one of the buses hit a donkey and collided with another at about the same time.

“Further comments can be obtained from the national office," said Ndebele, who was among the first to attend the accident scene.

A reserve driver for City Bus Tafadzwa Mandondo dismissed claims that the bus was fleeing notorious Ferret officers accused of extorting bus crews.

"We were not being chased because they would have caught up with us when we stopped to check our tyres,” Mandondo said.

“We had not even picked up speed when the other bus crashed into us. I was in the back seat.”

Mandondo said he escaped through the window.

At Beitbridge Hospital staff recorded numerous limb fractures, deep cuts and lacerations.

Dozens of injured passengers had X-rays taken by staff that appeared weary from having started working soon after the accident.

A City Bus staff member said they had bought medication worth some substantial amounts for the injured because there was nothing at the hospital.

"We even supplied fuel to the ambulances that ferried the injured to other hospitals," he said.

Some passengers said they had lost their belongings and cash during the accident, which blocked the highway for several hours.

Many Beitbridge residents, among them MP for Beitbridge West Thusani Ndou, flocked to the hospital to check relatives some of whom had just left the border when the accident occured.

"This is a sad development," Ndou said.

A few days ago, two other cross-border buses were involved in an accident in South Africa killing a number of Zimbabweans.

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