CHISUMBANJE – A Green Fuel ethanol tanker exploded into flames when it was side-swiped by a Mazda T35 truck carrying a coffin and 30 mourners in a horror crash that left more than 20 people dead in Chisumbanje yesterday.
The truck carrying mourners encroached into the haulage truck’s lane resulting in the crash.
The bulk of the people were burnt to death, according to witnesses.
At least 19 people died on the spot, with two more dying en route to St Peters’ Mission Hospital. The other four were quickly rushed to Chipinge Hospital with serious burns.
The incident took place between Manzvire and Rimbi areas on the Tanganda-Chiredzi highway at around 7am in the morning.
A coffin with the deceased was also burnt in the E10 fuel explosion.
The funeral hearse was coming from Chegutu to Mariya Village.
Lillian Muungani, Green Fuel’s spokesperson said: “Green Fuel joins the Chisumbanje community, the nation at large and most importantly, the families of the deceased in mourning the lives tragically lost in a road accident which occurred today in Chipinge South, along the Tanganda-Chiredzi highway near Checheche.
“As we come to terms with the devastating aftermath of this tragedy, we convey our sincere heartfelt condolences to the families of the deceased.”
Police spokesperson senior assistant commissioner Charity Charamba put the death toll at 21.
“19 people died on the spot while two died on their way to hospital,” Charamba said.