By Rex Mphisa

SIX people aboard a Toyota Quantum minibus were yesterday crashed to death in a head-on collision with a haulage truck at Sosonye River bridge along the Masvingo-Beitbridge Highway.

Only the driver of the truck survived the horrific crash, a kilometre from the Mwenezi River bridge.

Mwenezi civil protection chairperson Rosemary Chingwe said all six occupants of the minibus died on the spot.

“We only know the side (of the story) of the surviving (truck) driver at the moment and it is difficult to explain the cause of the accident,” Chingwe said.

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“No one in the smaller car survived,” Chingwe, who is also the district development co-ordinator (formerly district administrator), said.

People who passed through the scene of the accident on their way to Beitbridge, said the mangled remains of the minibus were still trapped under the truck.

“It appears the smaller vehicle rammed into the front of the heavy haulage truck, which dragged it the whole length of the bridge before knocking off a pillar at the end and falling onto the riverbank,” a motorist said.

Efforts to get a comment from Masvingo police spokesperson Chief Inspector Charity Mazula were fruitless as her phone went unanswered.

Bodies of the deceased were taken to Neshuro District Hospital.

Accidents on the Masvingo-Beitbridge Highway, even up to Harare, are a common occurrence blamed on the poor state of the road.

Government has shelved dualisation of the road, citing foreign currency shortages.

Instead the government is upgrading the road and five contractors are on the ground.

The road will be widened to 12,5 metres from Beitbridge to Harare at a cost of $600 million, translating to slightly above a million dollars per kilometre.

Local contractors have been engaged in a move expected to save foreign currency and create employment.