More than 40 killed in Zimbabwe bus accident

Accident in Gwanda, 550km south of capital Harare, also left 20 other people injured, some with severe burns.

    Emergency services stand near to a burned out bus after a bus accident on Thursday night [AP]
    Emergency services stand near to a burned out bus after a bus accident on Thursday night [AP]

    At least 42 passengers have been confirmed dead, Zimbabwe police said Friday, after a suspected gas tank exploded on a bus, with pictures showing the burnt-out wreckage of the vehicle.

    The accident happened late on Thursday in Gwanda district, about 550km south of Harare, Zimbabwe's capital.

    "At the moment we know that more than 42 people died," police spokeswoman Charity Charamba told AFP after the accident late on Thursday, with state media reporting a gas tank belonging to a passenger was believed to have exploded.

    "Our police officers are at the scene," Charamba added.

    The state-owned Herald newspaper said on its Twitter feed that "it is suspected a gas tank belonging to one of the passengers caused the inferno in the bus.

    "Dozens have been confirmed dead and several others injured through burns."

    Earlier, Charamba told AP news agency that at least 20 other people were injured, some with severe burns, in the accident on Thursday night.

    Photos posted on Twitter by the Zimbabwe Red Cross showed the remains of a bus that was completely incinerated.

    Earlier this month, 47 people were killed when two buses collided on a highway between Harare and the eastern town of Rusape.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and news agencies