The driver and conductor of the Beta Buses bus that collided Friday with a fuel tanker outside Mutare in what caused the death of five and the injury of more are reportedly on the run.
In a statement Sunday, national police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi also said DNA tests were being conducted to help identify two of the five victims who were burnt beyond recognition.
Said the senior police officer, “…The owner of Beta Buses Mr Muganda has offered to assist police to locate his driver Philip Chiringo who disappeared from the scene after the accident.
“Police are still conducting investigations into the unfortunate fatal road accident.”
The accident happened at the 242km peg along the Harare-Mutare highway.
The dead included three passengers on the bus, the tanker driver and his passenger.
The rest of the passengers kicked emergency exit panels and helped others to escape before the loaded tanker burst into flames which also engulfed the bus.
Police identified the dead as Dellon Ndoro of Mapfumo Village, Chief Zimunda, Mutare; Admire Mandeya of Nyatate Village, Chief Mutasa, Nyanga and Rufu Zambezi (48) of number 36 Glenora Drive, Harare.
Two other victims who were burnt beyond recognition are awaiting forensic test.
Contrary to their initial announcement that 65 passengers were aboard the ill-fated bus, police said the bus was carrying 71 people instead.
Of these, 69 were passengers.
The Pathera Logistics Fuel tanker had two occupants who included the driver.
Police said “66 people were injured while the death toll remains at five. 41 people were treated and discharged while 25 are still hospitalised.”