Munyaradzi Musiiwa Midlands Correspondent
Thirty people were killed — 28 of them on the spot — while 36 others were seriously injured when a Pfochez bus burst a tyre and side-swiped a Mercedes Benz Sprinter commuter omnibus at the 232km peg along the Harare-Bulawayo Highway yesterday.
Both drivers did not survive.
Two more passengers died on admission to Kwekwe District Hospital, while 32 others were in critical condition.
Police Officer Commanding Midlands Province Senior Assistant Commissioner Abigail Moyo said tragedy struck at around 1:30pm near Kwekwe River, 20km outside Kwekwe.
She said the Harare-bound Pfochez bus had over 40 passengers on board, while the number of those who were in the commuter omnibus could not be ascertained at the time of going to press.
“I can confirm that 30 people died, while 36 others were seriously injured when a Pfochez bus they were travelling in had a tyre burst before side-swiping a Mercedes Benz Sprinter commuter omnibus at the 232km peg along Harare-Bulawayo Highway. Both drivers died on impact, where the Mercedes Benz’s right side was ripped off.
“We suspect that on approaching the 232km peg, Pfochez bus burst its right front tyre resulting in the driver encroaching into the right lane ahead of an oncoming Mercedes Benz Sprinter and the two side- swiped.
“The bus fell on its left side, while the Mercedes Benz Sprinter veered off the road to the left side.”
Snr Asst Comm Moyo said 36 injured passengers were ferried to Kwekwe District Hospital, while bodies of the deceased were conveyed to the hospital’s mortuary.
“We are calling upon all relatives of people who were travelling in a Pfochez bus to come and identify their relatives. We are yet to establish how many people were aboard the Pfochez bus as well as the Mercedes Benz Sprinter.”
Minister of State for Midlands Provincial Affairs Cde Jason Machaya said the province was deeply saddened by the tragic incident and said the relatives would be assisted by the Civil Protection Unit to ferry the bodies of the victims to their respective homes.