SEVEN people died while 55 others were injured when a Zupco bus, two kombis and a Honda Fit were involved in an accident just outside Kwekwe yesterday afternoon.
National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi confirmed the accident.
He said six people died on the spot and one on admission to Kwekwe Hospital.
One passenger who was in a critical condition was referred to Gweru Provincial Hospital.
Three of the dead were on the bus, three from the Honda Fit and one from the kombi.
“I can confirm that seven people died while 55 others were injured when a Harare-bound Zupco bus was hit on its right rear wheel by an on-coming Honda Fit.
“The Honda Fit, which had six occupants, rolled three times, killing three on the spot while the bus driver lost control of the bus and hit a kombi which was loading coffins on the roadside.
Wreckages of the Zupco bus and one of the kombis that were involved in a highway pile-up near Kwekwe yesterday
“There was a pile-up when the kombi also hit another kombi which was parked in front with some of its occupants buying some watermelons,” said Asst Comm Nyathi.
He said the bus stopped after hitting a huge tree on the roadside.
The wreckage of the Zupco, which leaned on a huge tree, loud screams of passengers trapped in the vehicles, and two damaged Toyota Hiace kombis stuck in a bush, greeted a Chronicle news crew.
On-lookers and passers-by watched in horror as firefighters and police worked hard from one wreckage to the other trying to save lives.
The dead lay on the tarmac motionless, the injured writhing in pain and others bleeding badly while citizen journalists feasted on pictures as eye witnesses continued to gather from surrounding mining claims after hearing the huge bang and screams on impact.
The Officer Commanding Kwekwe District, Chief Superintended Conrad Mubaiwa, had to order some police officers at the scene to ward off the cameras and drive off the swelling crowds in a bid to give ambulance personnel a chance to ferry the injured to hospital.
Eyewitnesses and survivors told harrowing stories about the accident.
“The bus which had just left Kwekwe was travelling to Harare and the Honda Fit which was from the opposite direction, encroached and side-swiped the bus.
“The Honda Fit rolled and landed in a ditch while the bus driver lost control and hit a kombi which was loading by the road side.
“There was a pile up when the kombi, which was hit by the bus, also hit another kombi parked in front,” said one of the survivors from the bus, Mr Nelson Katamba.