11 February 2013

Zimbabwe: Train Crash Claims Two in Beitbridge

Two people died on the spot while two others were injured when a South African haulage truck they were travelling in was involved in a collision with a goods train at the 6 kilometre peg along the Beitbridge-Masvingo Road yesterday.

The accident occurred at around 3:45am when the driver of the Davline Transport truck tried to cross the road oblivious of the goods train which was travelling from Bulawayo to South Africa.

Traffic going in and out of Beitbridge town had to endure six hours of waiting as police and workers from the National Railways of Zimbabwe and the Beitbridge Town council tried to remove the wreckage from the accident scene.

The remaining train wagons were later toured away by another locomotive from Bulawayo at around midday yesterday.

The Police Officer Commanding Beitbridge district, chief superintendent Lawrence Chinhengo, said the truck was travelling from South Africa en-route to Zambia.

He said the haulage truck had five people on board including the driver.

"Investigations so far reveal that the truck was travelling towards Masvingo with five people on board including the driver," he said.

"When it got to the rail level crossing point at the 6km peg along the same road, the driver tried to cross the road ahead of the goods train which was going towards Beitbridge. As a result there was a collision."

The haulage truck, he said, was dragged off the road for about 10 metres killing one female passenger and the truck driver on the spot.

Chief Supt Chinhengo said the two engine-men escaped unhurt. He said another two people from the truck were injured one of them seriously.

Action Jaravaza sustained a damaged left eye and deep cut on the chin. He was taken to United Bulawayo hospitals for further treatment while the other victim Liliosa Mawenga was admitted at Beitbridge District hospital where her condition was reported to be stable.

The other man, John Kokerai 28, was treated and discharged.

Chief Supt Chinhengo could not release the names of the deceased as they are yet to inform their next of kin.

When The Herald arrived at the scene police and Emergences Services Workers from the Beitbridge Town Council were still trying to recover the body of the haulage truck driver who had been trapped under the wreckage for six hours.

They had to use a metal cutter to remove the body. The man died of severe head injuries.

An eyewitness, Mr Collin Tshuma said the truck driver was speeding and failed to stop the vehicle when danger was imminent despite the train sounding the horn several times.

Chief Supt Chinhengo said in another incident three people were killed two of them on the spot on Saturday morning when the driver of South African registered GVM K2D truck they were travelling in lost control and veered off the road.

The vehicle was travelling to South Africa. Chief Supt Chinhengo said Michael Sibanda of Nketa 5 in Bulawayo lost control of the car at the 233km peg along the Bulawayo-Beitbridge Road and veered off the road before hitting against a tree.

"The driver Michael Sibanda (35) and another passenger Manayi Sibanda (92) died on the spot as a result of the impact. The third victim Collen Ncube of Dulibadzimu Township died on the way to hospital," said Chief Supt Chinhengo.

He said another passenger Dumisani Ncube sustained a fractured right arm, bruises on the face and head.

He said the deceased were conveyed to Beitbridge District Hospital mortuary while Dumisani was admitted at the same hospital where his condition was reported to be stable.

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