The driver and conductor of one of the buses that collided with another in Rusape, killing 47 people survived and fled from the accident scene.

An eyewitness who attended the accident scene told the Herald: “The driver of the Smart Express bus was trying to overtake a haulage truck and encroached into the lane of the oncoming bus, resulting in the head on collision.

“The driver and conductor of Smart Bus Express survived and are said to have escaped from the scene soon after the accident.”

Rusape District medical officer Dr Tendai Nyafesu said the general hospital had been overwhelmed. The mortuary had capacity for 16 bodies but could be stretched to accommodate 36.

“This is horrific,” said Mr Museka, who was coordinating the transportation of the bodies and the injured to hospital. “It is not something easy to accept and we are very saddened by this sad development in our district. I cannot say much as I am running around following this tragedy.”