21 people died when a truck they were travelling in failed to negotiate a curve and overturned at Jimila Business Centre in Tsholotsho yesterday evening.
Police Action Senior Staff Officer, Chief Superintendent Paul Nyathi said 15 people died on the spot, while the other six died upon admission at Tsholotsho District Hospital.
He added that the accident occurred when the driver of the Nissan UD truck belonging to the Ministry of Health and Child Care lost control of the vehicle, which veered off the road to the right and overturned several times before landing on its roof.
According to some of the passengers who spoke to the ZBC News, the truck stopped three times as arguments erupted between the driver and the 69 passengers that were on board.
According to Matabeleland North Provincial Medical Director, Dr Nyasha Masuka, 21 of the injured passengers are now admitted at Mpilo Hospital in Bulawayo with two in critical condition, while four are at the United Bulawayo Hospital.
The rest are admitted at Tsholotsho District Hospital.
“There are two that are critically ill who have just been assessed by the anaesthetist to see if they can be moved into the intensive care unit (ICU) so one of them is semi-conscious.
“The way we measure the level of consciousness, if you are fully conscious its 15/15, but one of the patients is 8/15 so he might need to be assisted to breathe and the other one is still yet to be assessed,” said Dr Masuka.
The Provincial Chairperson in the Department of Civil Protection, Ms Latiso Dlamini said the accident has been communicated to the Head Office in Harare so that resource mobilisation can begin.
“We are hoping that we would get the assistance which is required mainly the coffins for those that have already passed on. We would also request for medication, so we are going to use a committee to request for more drugs,” she said.
Medical staff and some equipment have been moved from the various district hospitals in the province to compliment the facilities at Mpilo Hospital.
Meanwhile, arrangements have been made to move 13 bodies to the United Bulawayo Hospital mortuary since the facilities at Mpilo are already overwhelmed.
The names of the deceased are being with held until their next of kin have been notified. ZBC News