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13 perish in Fort Rixon kombi crash

By Staff Reporter

AT least 13 perished, 12 of them on the spot, including an infant while another died on admission to hospital when a commuter omnibus they were travelling in plunged four metres into a stream in Fort Rixon in Matabeleland North.

Four passengers were seriously injured and were admitted to the United Bulawayo Hospitals.

The kombi, which was heading towards Claremont mining area in Fort Rixon, Insiza District from Bulawayo with 17 passengers on board, landed at the foot of a bridge across the Nonke River.

Police confirmed the fatal accident, which occurred on Monday at about 7.30pm, and said preliminary investigations showed that the driver might have failed to negotiate a curve while approaching the bridge.

The Governor for Matabeleland South, Angeline Masuku, visited the scene in the company of the Deputy Police Officer Commanding Matabeleland South (Operations), Assistant Commissioner Earnest Muchenjekwa.

Villagers from Village Two, Fort Rixon, were gathered at the scene trying to come to terms with what had happened.

Witnesses said the kombi could have been racing with two other vehicles when the accident occurred.

The villagers reportedly gathered soon after the accident and started pulling out the injured passengers and bodies of those who had died until the police arrived at about 11pm and some of them spent the night at the scene.