Sunday, 17 November 2019

FIRE GUTS CROSS BORDER BUS


A Harare-bound bus was yesterday reduced to a shell after it caught fire near Tree Tops Tollgate, about 20 kilometres from Gweru along the Gweru-Bulawayo Highway.

No one was injured as more than 40 passengers managed to disembark, but they lost some property.

The losses could have been huge were it not for some members of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF) who stopped and helped offload goods in the trailer.

The City Bus that was on its way from Gaborone, Botswana, caught fire at around 12.30pm after the driver made an emergency stop following a mechanical fault.

The bus company said the cause of the fire was under investigation.

The fire is said to have emanated from the right rear wheels and quickly spread.

One of the passengers, Ms Gloria Mwale, a cross border trader from Kwekwe, told our Bulawayo Bureau at the scene that they all safely disembarked.

She said the fire was threatening to spread to the trailer where 90 percent of the goods belonging to the passengers were loaded.

The goods included electrical gadgets, blankets, smartphones, chargers and clothes.

“Fortunately, an army truck came from nowhere and the brave soldiers disembarked and rescued our goods which were in the trailer,” said Ms Mwale.

“I had orders for my clients and if the goods had been burnt, I don’t know what I was going to do.”

Another passenger, Mr Admire Chebundo from Harare, said they left Gaborone at around 8Ppm on Saturday and the bus developed mechanical problems when it was leaving Bulawayo.

“At one time, the driver and other crew members tried to fix the problem,” he said. “Then we heard that the brakes were binding. We are lucky that the fire started when we had all disembarked from the bus.”

City Bus operations manager Ms Juliet Bokosha said: “I can confirm that the bus caught fire in Gweru and the majority of the goods were saved. Investigations are ongoing.”

Gweru deputy chief fire officer Lyndon Hove said the bus was completely gutted when his crew arrived at the scene. Herald

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