The number of people feared dead in an inferno that occurred after a Proliner bus accident along the Harare Masvingo highway is now estimated at 20.

This comes after a team of DNA experts and pathologists was dispatched to the accident scene near the Drifontein turn off

ZRP National Spokesperson, Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba said the team of DNA specialists and pathologists has since collected the remains of the deceased and taken them to Gweru Hospital.

“The remains which were burnt beyond recognition, are thought to be of 20 people,” she said, advising relatives of those who were travelling in the Proliner bus to report to Gweru Hospital for DNA sampling to establish the identities of the deceased.

The accident, which occurred when a South African bound Proline bus side-swiped with a haulage truck at around 8:30pm yesterday evening, also injured 43 people.

Edmore Mlambo and his wife, Laiza, who live close to where the accident occurred, said they rushed to the scene of the accident after they heard a deafening noise, which emanated from the collision.

“When we got to the scene, we saw some passengers escaping from the bus which was already on fire through the windows,” said Mr Mlambo.

“Some were trapped in the bus and burned in the inferno with no one able to offer help,” Mrs Mlambo said.

Senior Assistant Commissioner Charamba urged bus operators to always ensure their head office keeps a passenger manifesto.

She also called on the people of Zimbabwe to avoid traveling at night particularly during public holidays as this increases the risk of accidents.

Relatives who had passengers on board the Proliner bus are being asked to check for their relatives at the Mvuma Police Station.