13 people died while seven other were injured after a lorry transporting maize plunged into a group of congregants at a Mugodhi Apostolic Church shrine in Machitope, Wedza this Monday morning.

Six died on the spot while seven others died on their way to Mount St Mary’s Hospital.

The bodies of the deceased and the injured were also taken to Mount St Mary’s Hospital.

Police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi confirmed the accident saying the lorry side-swiped with a bus, veered off the road and plunged into the apostolic sect members on the roadside.

Eye witnesses said the lorry could have lost its brakes and veered off the road.

Leaders of the Mugodhi Apostolic Church led by Vice Bishop Tony Sigauke expressed shock at the incident and confirmed that those killed were members of the church.

The director in Mashonaland East Minister of State’s office Mr Muchemwa Mugwisi who visited the scene of the accident said there is need to take precautionary measures during the church’s annual gatherings as the church is too close to the highway, leaving congregants at risk of being involved in accidents.

More than 40 000 people gather at the Chitope shrine popularly known as “PaJerusarema” every year to commemorate the Passover from the 14th to the 21st of April.