THREE people died on the spot while several others were seriously injured yesterday when a long-distance Zimbabwe United Passenger Company (Zupco) bus veered off the road and overturned near Bulawayo.
It is suspected that the driver was speeding and failed to control the bus on approaching a sharp bend.
The incident occurred at around 5PM at the 25km peg along the Bulawayo-Gwanda road near Chipangali Wildlife Orphanage. The bus was coming from Beitbridge, headed for Bulawayo.
When a Chronicle news crew arrived at the scene, the bodies of the three victims covered in blankets were lying near the wreckage. Traffic police officers were attending the scene while firefighters from the Bulawayo Fire Station were retrieving the luggage from the wreckage.
Some of the luggage belonging to the victims was strewn all over the area with several onlookers at the scene.
The smooth flow of traffic was disrupted and police had a torrid time controlling motorists.
A survivor who spoke to Chronicle on condition of anonymity said the accident could have been caused by slippery tarmac following light showers.
“The accident could have been caused by a slippery, wet road surface due to drizzle and the driver was speeding resulting in him failing to control the bus and it skidded off the road and overturned killing two women and a male on the spot,” said the survivor.
The injured were rushed to the United Bulawayo Hospitals and their condition could not be ascertained as of last night.
A witness, Mr Dan Ncube said he saw the bus skidding off the road while he was mending a fence at a nearby Hilltop Farm in Siphezini.
“I was fixing the fence when I spotted the bus approaching from a distance. The driver lost control of the bus and it went off the road and overturned. When I rushed to the scene, bags were strewn all over the place and the bodies of the victims were also lying there,” he said.
Mr Ncube said he was among the people who arrived at the scene and assisted in removing some luggage from the bus.
Contacted for comment last night, Matabeleland South police spokesperson Chief Inspector Philisani Ndebele said he was yet to get detailed information on the crash.
The country has recorded 1 406 road accidents during the festive holiday during which 111 people died while 503 were injured. Police attributed the accidents to human error. speeding, reversing errors, following too close and inattention contributed to most of the accidents.
National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi recently urged motorists to exercise caution and observe the rules of the road to prevent accidents.