FOUR people were killed while dozens escaped with injuries when a Beta bus crashed into a fuel tanker and burst into flames just outside Mutare.
The accident took place at the 242km peg along the Harare-Mutare highway yesterday around 5.00pm, police have confirmed.
The deceased included two passengers on the bus, the tanker driver and his passenger. The rest of the passengers kicked emergency exit panels and helped others to escape despite the injuries of many.
Mutare Fire Brigade swiftly responded to the distress call and managed to extinguish the fire.
A video showing the accident has been circulating on social media platforms last evening. Watch the video below:
Traffic was along Mutare Highway was blocked for close to an hour as the remains were being retrieved, with the tanker driver and his passenger’s remains both trapped in the wreckage.
However, 54 of those escaping passengers were taken to Victoria Chitepo Provincial Hospital with injuries described as serious.
National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said the bus, which was on its way from Harare, encroached onto the opposite lane resulting in the head-on collision with the tanker that was heading towards Harare.
“There are reports that the bus driver had tried to avoid a drunken person who was along the road and thereby encroaching onto the opposite lane but we are still conducting investigations.
“Our officers are still on the ground and we will be releasing more details,” he said last night.
Manicaland Provincial Secretary for Development and Devolution, Edgars Seenza was at the scene with police helping to coordinate the needed resources for passengers, police and medical staff.
“The tanker which was transporting fuel burst into flames. Both vehicles were reduced to wrecks.
“As the Civil Protection Unit, we are encouraging motorists to exercise extreme caution on the roads,” said Seenza.
“It so sad to lose lives in such a horrific manner especially during this festive season.”
On Thursday afternoon, one person died while 15 others were injured-eight of them seriously when a Harare-bound Munhenzva cross-border bus they were travelling in burst its tyre and landed on its roof near the Matshiloni area along the Beitbridge-Masvingo highway.
The bus was carrying 29 Zimbabweans returning from South Africa.
The injured were taken to the Beitbridge District Hospital for medical attention, while one of the deceased crew members was taken to a mortuary at the same hospital.
In the first 10 months of this year, 1 475 people were killed while 6 614 were injured in 35 727 road traffic accidents across Zimbabwe, despite two Level Four lockdowns and a curfew every night, which both limit driving.
- via Herald