4 January 2013

Zimbabwe: Four Drown As Flooded River Sweeps Away Vehicle

Photo: Aliyu Adekunle S/Vanguard
File photo: The rains have caused widespread damage to roads leaving some areas impassable.

FOUR people drowned while two others escaped unhurt when a Toyota Corona they were travelling in was swept away at a flooded river in Suswe, Mutoko, on Wednesday night. National traffic acting police spokesperson Assistant Inspector Luckmore Chakanza said the incident occurred at Nyanjenje River at around 8pm and the bodies were retrieved yesterday morning.

"Two brothers offered a lift to four people from Suswe Business Centre and drove towards Nyanjenje River," he said.

He said when they saw that the river was flooded, they all agreed to drive through.

"While the vehicle was in the middle of the river it was swept away and the driver and his brother managed to escape while two passengers were trapped.

"The other two drowned while trying to swim," Asst Insp Chakanza said.

Police retrieved the bodies yesterday morning and they were taken to Kotwa Hospital.

Their names will be released once their next of kin have been informed.

Asst Insp Chakanza urged the public not to attempt to cross flooded rivers as they would end up losing their lives.

Meanwhile, three more people have been killed in road accidents countrywide bringing the festive season death toll to 183.

The three were killed between Wednesday and yesterday morning.

National police spokesperson Superintendent Andrew Phiri said so far 938 people have been injured in 1 192 accidents.

He said they impounded 1 243 unroadworthy vehicles and issued 12 668 tickets to motorists who violated traffic regulations.

"We also arrested 754 people for using cellphones while driving and seven others for drunken driving," he said.

The major causes of the accidents have been attributed to speeding, inattention and misjudgment.

During the same period in 2011, 103 people were killed while 824 others were injured in 1 177 accidents.

Of the 1 177 accidents, 81 were fatal.

A total of 2 256 vehicles were also impounded and police issued 103 647 tickets.

Supt Phiri urged motorists to exercise caution and obey all traffic rules and regulations.

He said members of the force would remain deployed on the country's major roads to ensure there was sanity.

"What is now needed is to change the attitudes of the drivers because once they approach any roadblock they will pretend to have good behaviour and when they pass it their attitude will immediately change," Supt Phiri said.

A total of 147 people were killed in 2011 while 1 304 others were injured during the festive season.

From January to October this year, 28 929 accidents were recorded as compared to 26 500 recorded during the same period last year.

Last week, Government had increased the visibility of law enforcement agencies on the country's major roads to curb road accidents that have so far claimed 166 people.

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