21 killed in truck, tanker crash in Zimbabwe

HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) — Zimbabwe state radio says 21 people headed to a funeral died when their open truck collided with a tanker carrying ethanol fuel in southeastern Zimbabwe.

The state-run Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corp. reported Wednesday that the truck ferrying mourners side-swiped a tanker carrying the highly flammable ethanol spirit distilled from sugar. It said the collision happened in the sugar plantation district of Chisumbanje, about 460 kilometers (285 miles) from the capital, Harare.

State radio said the tanker exploded and most of the 21 passengers were burned beyond recognition in the fire. The coffin on the truck headed to the burial was also incinerated. Road accidents, common in Zimbabwe, are blamed on overcrowding of vehicles, poor roads, speeding, poor maintenance and shortages of tires and essential spare parts in the troubled economy.

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