Zimbabwe News

Update: Beitbridge accident death toll rises to 11

The death toll from Saturday’s road accident in Beitbridge has risen to 11 from nine after two passengers died in hospital.

The accident happened when a City Bus coach travelling to Harare from South Africa veered into the opposite lane after hitting a donkey, resulting in a head-on collision with a Blue Circle bus.

Seven passengers died on the spot with two more dying on arrival at Beitbridge District Hospital.

The Government and bus operators have pledged to assist families of the victims with medical and funeral expenses.

Matabeleland South Provincial Affairs and Devolution Minister, Dr Evelyn Ndlovu, confirmed the death of two other passengers during a visit to some of the survivors admitted to United Bulawayo Hospital (UBH) yesterday. She said the Government was processing relevant documents for the repatriation of a South African national who died in the same accident.

During the visit, Dr Ndlovu also met operators of the buses that were involved in the deadly crash.

“I am happy to see that the bus operators are actively involved in ensuring that the survivors of the accident are taken care of. I was recently in Beitbridge to assess and visit other survivors of the accident and they need our prayers and support for them to recover,” she said.

“The Government has pledged to assist the survivors and families of those who perished in the accident. The bus operators have also said they too will provide financial support for medical bills and funeral expenses.”

She said the Government was satisfied with the manner in which medical staff are attending to survivors of the accident.

“The medical staff are efficient and I am happy with the manner in which they are treating our survivors. They have informed me of requirements they need to proceed with surgeries on those that require surgery. I have told them to work closely with the bus operators who are already footing the bill and are also complementing the Government’s efforts to assist,” said Dr Ndlovu.

Blue Circle operations manager, Mr Nicholas Gowo, said the accident was tragic and they will meet all costs of the families that lost their loved ones as well as medical bills of the survivors.

“We too lost our drivers and it is really a sad scenario.

“We are working closely with the Government to ensure that all the people that were affected by the accident are catered for,” he said.

Mr Sam Matanda, operations manager for City Bus, also committed to assisting. “We will assist in every way possible. It is sad that we lost lives in the accident and we mourn with the families,” he said.

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