Zimbabwe police say 31 people were killed in a bus accident after a burst front tire sent the vehicle careening into the oncoming lane.

Police spokeswoman Charity Charamba said Saturday that 28 people died on the spot when the bus carrying 60 passengers slammed into an oncoming public transport minibus. Three others later died in the hospital.

The accident took place on Thursday in the Midlands city of Kwekwe.

President Robert Mugabe declared on Friday that the accident was a national disaster, allowing the government to finance the funerals of the accident victims.

Road accidents involving public transport vehicles are common in this southern African country due to the poor state of roads, faulty vehicles and driver negligence, according to Charamba.