Eight people died and dozens were injured in Zimbabwe when a bus carrying churchgoers caught fire on its way to an annual gathering, police said Monday.

The bus was carrying dozens of Anglican pilgrims when the blaze occurred, causing eight people to be "burnt beyond recognition", police spokesman Paul Nyathi told AFP.

Nyathi also said over 50 people were injured with 14 hospitalised.

"We were unable to identify who exactly died and DNA should be carried out first. Two people are also missing," he said.

The cause of the fire was not yet known.

"We are still conducting investigations to ascertain the cause of the accident and more details will then be released," Nyathi said.

The churchgoers were driving back to Manicaland province after attending the Bernard Mizeki Annual Festival in Marondera, a small town northeast of Harare.

The meeting is attended by over 20,000 annually by congregants from all parts of the world.

Reverend Edwin Selemani of the Anglican Church in a statement that he wished "healing to the injured and comfort to the bereaved".

"May God grant rest to the souls of the departed," he said.
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