By Felix Matasva
THE death toll has risen to five following a fatal accident that occurred Friday near a toll gate in Mutare after a fuel tanker collided with a bus, which was traveling from Harare.
The fatal accident occurred between a popular leisure spot dubbed Romeo’s and a toll gate along Mutare Harare highway.
In a statement Saturday, the national police spokesperson, Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi confirmed the death of five people whilst 60 were injured in the fatal traffic misfortune.
Nyathi noted that three people died on the spot whilst two others died upon admission at Victoria Chitepo Provincial Hospital.
“The driver of a Beta Bus Company’s Yutong was traveling towards Mutare, with 63 passengers on board and on approaching the 242 km peg it is claimed that the driver was avoiding a suspected drunk pedestrian resulting in the bus swerving onto the lane of oncoming traffic,” he said.
“As a result, the bus collided with a Freightliner fuel tanker which was traveling in the opposite direction, with one passenger on board.”
“The fuel tanker exploded and both vehicles were engulfed in flames and burnt to ashes. Three people died on the spot including the driver of the fuel tanker and his passenger whilst two others died upon admission at Victoria Chitepo Provincial Hospital. The bodies of victims were ferried to Victoria Chitepo Provincial Hospital, while 60 people who were injured were admitted at the same hospital.”
The national police spokesperson also noted the names of victims will be announced after their next of kins have been informed.
Nyathi Saturday afternoon told NewZimbabwe.com 30 passengers have since been discharged from Victoria Chitepo Provincial Hospital.
He added investigations were still in progress and urged motorists to exercise extreme caution on the roads throughout the merriment era.
Manicaland provincial secretary for development, Edgars Seenza Saturday said the government has already started the provision of medication and catered for other logistics.
“We are now assisting the hospital with what they need in order to assist patients. Two of the deceased have done their paperwork and they are now collecting the dead and the government has assisted with the hearse, and coffins,” Seenza said, adding the three deceased burnt beyond recognition were undergoing a vetting process in order to positively identify them.