More than 20 dead in Chisumbanje accidents

About 20 people are believed to have died this morning after sustaining severe burns from ethanol explosion after a Green Fuels haulage truck collided with a lorry that was ferrying mourners to a funeral.

The incident took place between Manzvire and Rimbi area in eastern Zimbabwe around 7am this morning.

The Green Fuels truck collided with the lorry, which is reported to have been carrying close to 30 passengers who were travelling from Chegutu on their way to Maria village in Chipinge for a funeral.

The lorry was also ferrying the body of the deceased whose identity was only given as Muyambo. The Green Fuels truck was transporting E10 fuel from Chisumbanje to Harare.

It is believed 21 people died at the spot including the driver of the haulage truck from severe burns.

Six passengers were rushed to St Peters Hospital while two died along the way, according to eye witness reports. The remaining four were later transferred to Chipinge Hospital as they were said to be in a critical condition. Green Fuels and police vehicles ferried the casualties to hospitals.

Green Fuels public relations officer Lillian Muungani confirmed the incident but could not give any more details. The incident has left the Chisumbanje community in shock.

Muungani said she was still compiling a press statement that would be issued out by the company later.

Manicaland police spokesperson Assistant Inspector Luxon Chananda also confirmed the incident but said they were still compiling the report. A local human rights campaigner, Claris Madhuku said villagers here are in shock.

“We are in a sombre state as I speak to you now. The incident has left us in a state of shock. We don’t know what actually caused the accident but it is understood that the Green Fuels tanker collided with an EVECO open truck. The EVECO truck was carrying 30 mourners from Chegutu to Maria village.

“21 people died on the spot while six others were transported to St Peters Hospital. Two died on their way to hospital while the four have been transferred to Chipinge Hospital as they are sustaining serious injuries,” said Madhuku.

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