At least 42 passengers have been confirmed dead after a suspected gas tank exploded on a bus in Zimbabwe.

“At the moment we know that more than 42 people died,” police spokeswoman Charity Charamba told AFP after the accident late on Thursday, with state media reporting a gas tank belonging to a passenger was believed to have exploded.

“Our police officers are at the scene,” Charamba added.

The state-owned Herald newspaper said on its Twitter feed that “it is suspected a gas tank belonging to one of the passengers caused the inferno in the bus.

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“Dozens have been confirmed dead and several others injured through burns.”

The Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation published photographs showing the destroyed vehicle on a highway from the South African border crossing to the second city Bulawayo.

Last week, 47 people were killed when two buses collided on a road between the capital Harare and the eastern town of Rusape.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa said road safety had to be improved after that crash.

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