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Monday, 10 June, 2002, 10:56 GMT 11:56 UK
Students killed in Zimbabwe crash
At least 36 trainee teachers have been burnt to death after their bus collided with a truck near the central town of Masvingo, police say.

Thirty-five students survived the accident and are being treated in Masvingo's hospital, reports the French news agency, AFP.


Heaps of bags of maize fell on the bus and caught fire.

Andrew Phiri
police inspector
Lectures have been suspended at Masvingo Teacher Training College, where the students were studying, the college head told AFP.

The students were returning from a sports tournament in Harare when their bus collided with a lorry carrying bags of maize at around midnight local time (2200 GMT).

The accident occurred 240km south of Harare.

"Heaps of bags of maize fell on the bus and caught fire. Both the truck and the bus were burnt," police inspector Andrew Phiri told AFP.

Poor safety record

A police spokesman in Masvingo said the hospital was coping with the number of injured and its morgue had been able to accommodate all the bodies.

He said all the bodies had been removed from the wreckage.

The college principal told AFP by telephone: "The students are just seated and they are mourning [their colleagues]."

Zimbabwe has a poor record on road safety.

Last year, two government ministers were killed in traffic accidents within a month.

Many accidents are caused by drink-driving and speeding.


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