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State radio: 13 die in Zimbabwe bus crash

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May 26, 2012 07:45 AM EST | AP


HARARE, Zimbabwe — State radio says 13 people died and six were seriously injured in Zimbabwe when a crowded minibus burst a tire and slammed into a tree.

State radio reported Saturday that the passengers were worshippers headed to a church service in northeastern Zimbabwe. Police said the bus rolled after hitting the tree on Friday, crushing the roof.

It said the driver was injured in the crash about 30 miles (50 kilometers) northeast of Harare.

Bus crashes are common in Zimbabwe and are blamed on overcrowding of vehicles, speeding, poor maintenance and shortages of spare parts and replacement tires in the troubled economy. In March, 18 people died when a 26-seater bus carrying 46 passengers plunged into a mountain ravine in eastern Zimbabwe.