Bulawayo-Beitbridge road accident kills 14, injures 5

Friday, 10 March 2017  Radio Dialogue

BULAWAYO - Fourteen people died and five others seriously injured when a haulage truck collided with a commuter omnibus (kombi) along Bulawayo-Beitbridge road yesterday night.

According to the Bulawayo City Council Chief Fire Officer Richard Peterson, the truck driver survived with minor injuries.

“13 people died on the spot while another died at United Bulawayo Hospital (UBH) and the five that were injured were also taken to UBH,” he said.

Peterson said they arrived at the scene at 12 midnight where they found the haulage truck on top of the kombi and passengers trapped inside.

“We received a call at around 11:47 pm and we arrived at the scene at 12 midnight where we found the people trapped in the kombi which was under the truck,” he said.

“The truck driver said he hit a pothole and lost control of the truck leading to him colliding with the kombi,” said Peterson.

According to Peterson, who spoke to the Radio Dialogue news crew on the scene, the deceased were going to a funeral in Masvingo to bury a relative whose body was also found at the scene inside a coffin.

“The people in the kombi were going to a funeral and the coffin was discovered on the spot. The body belonged to a child who is between 5 and 6 years of age” he said.

Peterson said they are still searching for a missing hand and they also suspect that they could be another body missing.

“We are still searching for a hand that is missing and we suspect there is another body that could be trapped,” he said.

Witnesses said the pothole is dangerous and has been disturbing drivers.

Some admitted almost having accidents on that very spot.

“Two days ago we had an encounter when our car swerved after hitting the pothole because the driver thought it was just water and lucky enough we were not injured but the car was taken for repairs because it was damaged,” said Tonderai Mhofu, a witness.

“That pothole is dangerous and when it is filled with water drivers usually do not notice that it is a pothole,” he said.

The road has been closed as the police are still doing their investigations and the fire fighters are removing rubble from the accident.

More details to follow…

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