47 per­ish in hor­ror bus crash

• Death toll likely to rise • Rusape mor­tu­ary over­whelmed • Po­lice in­ves­ti­ga­tions un­der­way

The Herald (Zimbabwe) - - Front Page - Tendai Mu­gabe, Sa­muel Kadun­gure and Love­more Kadzura

FORTY-SEVEN peo­ple — 45 adults and two chil­dren — were killed, while 70 oth­ers were in­jured when two buses col­lided head-on at the 166-kilo­me­tre peg along the Harare-Mutare High­way yes­ter­day evening.

The ac­ci­dent in­volv­ing Bolt Cut­ter and Smart Ex­press buses oc­curred at around 5.30pm.

Na­tional po­lice spokesper­son As­sis­tant Com­mis­sioner Paul Ny­athi con­firmed the ac­ci­dent.

By the time of go­ing to press, Asst Comm Ny­athi said po­lice were still at­tend­ing the ac­ci­dent scene and the num­ber of deaths could rise.

The ac­ci­dent oc­curred at Tor­ish Farm, about 3km out­side Rusape.

“The ac­ci­dent oc­curred at the 166km peg on the Harare-Mutare Road, just af­ter the Rusape toll­gate drift­ing to­wards Harare,” said Asst Comm Ny­athi.

“The ac­ci­dent in­volved a Bolt Cut­ter bus that was head­ing to­wards Mutare which col­lided with a Smart Ex­press bus which was go­ing to Harare. Po­lice are still at­tend­ing the ac­ci­dent scene.”

Makoni dis­trict ad­min­is­tra­tor and chair­man of the dis­trict Civil Pro­tec­tion Unit (CPU) Mr Dar­ling­ton Museka said Rusape Gen­eral Hos­pi­tal mor­tu­ary was over­whelmed and they had en­gaged Nyaradzo Fu­neral Ser­vices for as­sis­tance.

Dis­trict med­i­cal of­fi­cer Dr Tendai Nyafesu said the gen­eral hos­pi­tal mor­tu­ary had ca­pac­ity for 16 bod­ies, but can be stretched to ac­com­mo­date 36.

“This is hor­rific,” said Mr Museka, who was co­or­di­nat­ing the trans­porta­tion of the bod­ies and the in­jured to hos­pi­tal.

“It is not some­thing easy to ac­cept and we are very sad­dened by this sad devel­op­ment in our dis­trict. I can­not say much as I am run­ning around with this bur­den.”

When The Her­ald crew ar­rived at the scene, the road had been ren­dered im­pass­able with bod­ies, the in­jured and their lug­gage strewn all over the place.

Well-wish­ers helped ferry the in­jured to hos­pi­tal.

Ac­cord­ing to an eye­wit­ness, the driver of the Smart Ex­press bus was try­ing to over­take a haulage truck and en­croached into the lane of the on­com­ing bus, re­sult­ing in the head-on col­li­sion.

The driver and con­duc­tor of the Smart Ex­press bus sur­vived and are said to have fled the scene.

The wreck­ages of Bolt Cut­ter and Smart Ex­press buses that col­lided head-on at the 166km peg along the Harare-Mutare High­way, killing 47 peo­ple and leav­ing 70 oth­ers in­jured yes­ter­day evening

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