Chipinge bus disaster: death toll rises to 39

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From Pamenus Tuso in Chimanimani

THE toll from Chipinge bus crash rose to 39 following the death of two more Tilbury Primary School pupils Monday.

This means the school has now lost six children, five of which are from the same class.

The Roman Catholic-owned bus was carrying members of the Zion Christian Church (ZCC) on their annual Easter pilgrimage to Bikita.

It was involved in an accident near Jopa Market in Chipinge on Friday night.

Three grade six students from the same class died on the spot, which also claimed another student from a different class.

The deceased’s teacher, Hardwork Makamanzi, said he was informed by authorities of the death of two more pupils.

“I have just received news that two more students in my class have succumbed to the accident’s injuries. I really do not have words to describe how this disaster has personally affected me as well as the other remaining students. To me, it’s like I have lost close family members,” said a distraught Makamanzi.

He said the school still had more pupils in hospital with various degrees of injuries.

“A lot of people here are members of ZCC and there are chances that they might have been on the ill-fated bus with their parents. I pray and hope that those who are still in hospitals will make it,” said Makamanzi.