THREE people died, two of them on the spot, while 49 others were injured when a Johannesburg-bound Qatar Luxury Coaches bus burst its front tyre and overturned yesterday.

The accident occurred at around 5.45AM along the Harare-Masvingo Highway, 15KM outside Mvuma.

Assistant Commissioner Musarashana Mabunda, the Acting Officer Commanding Police in Midlands Province, said the bus driver and his conductor had fled the crash site. Police are looking for them. He said two people died on the spot while a third died upon arrival at Mvuma District Hospital.

The injured were ferried to Mvuma, Chivhu and Gweru hospitals.

Asst Comm Mabunda said: "I can confirm that a Qatar Luxury Coaches bus which was travelling to Johannesburg was involved in an accident just after Little Sebakwe Bridge about 15km before Mvuma town. The bus' front left tyre burst resulting in the driver losing control. The bus then rolled several times ripping off the roof before landing on its side. The driver and conductor of the bus fled the scene after the accident."

The Midlands acting police chief said police could not immediately ascertain the reasons why the bus crew disappeared from the scene.

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