THE death toll in the commuter omnibus accident that occurred near Manica Bridge along the Mutare-Nyanga Road yesterday afternoon has risen to five, the Manica Post has learnt.
National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi confirmed that two more people had succumbed to injuries sustained in the accident.
He said the 18-seater Nissan Caravan, which was carrying home more than 30 Hartzell Central Primary School pupils, veered off the road before it overturned three times.
The driver and a pupil died on the spot, while another learner was pronounced dead upon arrival at Old Mutare Mission Hospital. Two more pupils died at Victoria Chitepo Provincial Hospital where they had been admitted.
Eight pupils are currently hospitalised while the rest were discharged.
In an interview this morning, Health and Child Care Deputy Minister, Dr John Mangwiro, said Government will provide assistance during the five victims’ funerals.
Speaking while visiting survivors at Victoria Chitepo Provincial Hospital and Old Mutare Mission Hospital, Dr Mangwiro said Government will also cater for medical expenses for the injured survivors.
He said it was regrettable the kombi was carrying more passengers than its capacity could hold.
“We have just been told that the bus was carrying more than 40 pupils and that only 34 managed to get hospital attention. The rest are said to have fled after the accident happened and follow-ups will be done to make sure that those children are safe and get the proper medical attention they need.
“This is quite sad because this past week, we were at another accident scene where school children perished in Chitungwiza,” he said.