Monday, 23 August 2021

85 BALES OF COTTON SEED GO UP IN SMOKE


AT least 85 bales of cotton seed, weighing over 25 tonnes were on Saturday morning burnt in transit along the Chinhoyi-Chegutu Road.

The cotton had been ferried from a buying point in Rafingora and the truck was destined for a Cottco Zimbabwe ginnery in Chinhoyi. The bales were reduced to ashes, about a kilometre before reaching the ginnery at Christos Shops.

When The Herald visited the scene, Cottco personnel and touts were busy trying to salvage the bales as Chinhoyi Municipality fire tender failed to make it to the site.

The desperate efforts by the team failed to yield any positive results as the raging fire gutted the fully loaded trailer. Witnesses said the driver was alerted of the fire by other drivers before he pulled off the road.

“When he pulled off the road to investigate, he realised that the whole load was up in smoke. We helped him remove the tank and unhook the trailer from the horse,” said Archim James. The fire is suspected to have been caused by fumes from the exhaust pipe which is mounted facing the loaded trailer.

The driver of the truck, who was in shock and requested anonymity, said he had travelled at least 110 kilometres from Rafingora.

“I suspect the fire was caused by exhaust fumes. I was only alerted by fellow drivers who sensed danger,” said the driver.

Chinhoyi Municipality spokesperson, Mr Tichaona Mlauzi said the local council’s fire tender was out of service while plans were afoot for a brand new truck.

Efforts to get comments from Cottco public relations officer, Ms Victoria Mutomba, to ascertain the value of the burnt bales were futile yesterday although some officials at the scene said about 25 000 kilogrammes that were destroyed cost at least $2,1 million. Herald


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