Two long distance buses going opposite directions collided near Rusape, about 170 kilometers (105 miles) east of the capital Harare on Wednesday evening, said police spokesman Paul Nyathi. The death toll could rise because there 80 others admitted to hospital, some with serious injuries.
One of the buses tried to pass two haulage trucks on a stretch of the road where overtaking is prohibited, resulting in the collision with an oncoming bus, Ellen Gwaradzimba, the provincial minister for Manicaland province, told the state broadcaster. The buses swerved to avoid a head-on collision but their sides crashed. Both buses were speeding, police told the state broadcaster.
The number of dead bodies have overwhelmed the small town’s morgue, which can only accommodate up to 16 bodies, reported the state-run Herald newspaper.
Bus accidents are frequent in this southern African country, where speeding often means more money for bus crews that compete for customers and try to make as many trips as possible per day.
The road where the accident happened was recently resurfaced as part of government attempts at rehabilitating collapsing road infrastructure.