By Tendai Rupapa and Talent Chimutambgi
ELEVEN people died on spot and several others were seriously injured yesterday when two commuter omnibuses collided head-on along the Harare-Nyamapanda highway, marking a bloody start to the festive season which runs from December 15 to January 15, 2019.
The accident occurred at the 49km peg late in the afternoon.
National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi confirmed the accident last night.
Police said the accident happened when one of the commuter omnibuses burst a tyre and encroached onto the lane of the other driving in the opposite direction, resulting in the head-on collision which killed 10 adults and a child.
Police had not released the names of the deceased by last night.
Asst Comm Nyathi said details of the accident were still sketchy as police were attending the scene in the Murehwa area.
The bodies of the deceased were taken to Murehwa Hospital mortuary while the injured were rushed to Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals in Harare.
“One of the commuter omnibuses had a tyre burst and encroached onto the lane of an oncoming omnibus, resulting in the head-on collision,” said Asst Comm Nyathi.
“Police officers at the scene are still establishing the number of passengers who were on board each kombi,” he said.
“We are yet to establish the number of the injured passengers. The bodies of the deceased were taken to Murehwa Hospital’s mortuary and the injured were ferried to Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals,” said Asst Comm Nyathi.
He urged motorists to ensure their vehicles were fit before travelling to avoid accidents.
Asst Comm Nyathi also said drivers must always observe traffic regulations.
“Motorists should always check the tyres of their vehicles to see if they are fit to be on the road. They should also remember that it is imperative for everyone to take extra caution in order to curb or continue reducing the number of accidents. We implore motorists to observe all traffic laws as they travel to different destinations,” he said.
The country has of late been experiencing a spate of road fatalities.
Last week 12 people died on the spot near Checheche Growth Point in Chipinge when a Green Fuel haulage truck collided with a commuter omnibus.
Last month 47 people — 45 adults and two children — were killed, while 70 others were injured when two buses collided head-on at the 166-kilometre peg along the Harare-Mutare Highway.
The accident involved Bolt Cutter and Smart Express buses.
On November 25, four people lost their lives, three of them on the spot, when a Toyota Allion they were travelling in hit the pillars of Mupfure bridge near Chegutu and landed under the bridge.
Also mid last month, 30 people were killed near West Nicholson in Matabelaland South when a gas cylinder exploded in a bus resulting in an inferno which burnt some of the passengers beyond recognition. DNA tests were carried out to identify some of them.
In September, five people died in two separate accidents along the Shurugwi-Zvishavane and Gweru-Kwekwe roads.
Four people died on the spot at Boterekwa when a maize-laden T35 truck they were travelling in overturned. The Herald