Bus burns, 20 dead passengers

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Twenty passengers were burnt beyond recognition while 41 were critically injured in a horrific accident that happened when a South Africa-bound Proliner Bus sideswiped with a haulage truck and caught fire in Chirumanzu.bus-burns-2

The accident occurred at Nyamatikiti River near Chaka Business Centre at the 218km peg along the Harare-Masvingo Beitbridge highway on Wednesday night at around 9PM.

National chief police spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba yesterday described the mishap as the worst ever on the country’s roads.

She said the National University of Science and Technology has been engaged for DNA identification of the victims.

Snr Asst Comm Charamba said the driver of the South African registered haulage truck, Regius Mangwari (29) who was driving to Harare carrying tyres, has been charged with 20 cases of culpable homicide. Mangwari, she said, was now under police guard while admitted at Mvuma District Hospital.

“I confirm that police have recovered about 20 charred remains from the horrific accident that occurred on Wednesday evening along the Harare–Masvingo highway. Forty-one passengers were injured in the accident and are admitted to Mvuma District Hospital, Driefontein Mission Hospital and Masvingo Provincial Hospital while two critical passengers who suffered severe head and spinal injuries among other things had been referred to a Harare hospital,” she said.

When a Chronicle news crew visited the scene yesterday, police were removing the charred bodies from the bus wreck which was still smouldering.

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