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Death toll climbs to 35 in Chipinge bus disaster

Police have confirmed a fatal road traffic accident which occurred at the 5km peg along Jopa-Skyline Rd in Chimanimani last night at around 2200 hours.

A St Charles Luwanga bus which was carrying 106 members of the Zion Christian Church (ZCC), heading for an Easter conference, veered off the road and fell into a gorge.

“As a result of the accident 35 people died while 71 others were injured,” police said in a statement.

“The bodies of the victims were taken to Chipinge Hospital for post-mortem while the injured were referred to the same institution for treatment, with 13 being critically injured. More details to follow,” police added.

Earlier, Chimanimani MP Joshua Sacco spoke at the scene of the accident saying “police have told us that they have so far counted 29 people who have died, and scores of others have been injured. It’s a terrible disaster.”

Information permanent secretary Nick Mangwana said the St Charles Lwanga School bus was carrying ZCC Mbungo members from Chimanimani to Mbungo Masvingo.

“Brake failure is suspected. Scores of people are feared dead. Civil Protection Committees have been activated,” he wrote on twitter.