Friday, February 7, 2014

Latest News on what really happened when a Zupco bus was swept away while trying to cross a river killing 4 people

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Four people were killed when a Zupco bus plunged into Musavezi River along the Mhandamabwe-Shurugwi Road yesterday after a bridge was swept away by incessant rains pounding most parts of the country.
All seemed well when the driver started crossing the bridge, but suddenly found the bus being swept away because part of the bridge had been destroyed, cutting off the major road.
Twenty-three other passengers, mainly cross border traders, escaped unhurt, but the driver sustained minor injuries.
Two bodies — of a male and a female — were discovered near the wreckage in the morning while two others, that of an elderly woman and a minor, who had been declared missing, were found some distance away following a search.
The bus, which was carrying 28 people including the crew, was travelling from Beitbridge to Kwekwe when disaster struck.
it plunged into the river.
National police spokesperson Chief Superintendent Paul Nyathi said names of the deceaded were being withheld until their next of kin were notified.
“We are advising motorists not to use that highway at the moment and they will be informed once repairs have been done,’’ he said.
The bus was still stuck along the river banks by late yesterday afternoon.
Some of the survivors said it was “a miracle” that they had not drowned and that they had started praying as the bus was being swept downstream.
“I just do not know how I survived and I am grateful to God because at one time the whole bus was full of water as it was being swept downwards and everyone just started praying until it suddenly stopped after one side got struck on the riverbed,” said Mrs Pauline Miranzi, a cross-border trader from Roasting Plan in Kwekwe.
Another survivor and cross-border trader Ms Gamuchirai Mutemeri of Mbizo 12 in Kwekwe said they were rescued by a kombi driver who heard them screaming and broke one of the bus’ windows they used to escape.
All Beitbridge, Chiredzi and Masvingo bound traffic from Gweru is now going through Zvishavane after the road was cut off.
Goods which include groceries and electrical appliances belonging to the cross border traders were also swept away.
The incessant rains have also badly affected villagers in Mberengwa who have been left stranded while others have been isolated after low-lying bridges were wiped away and roads destroyed by floods.
Communication between Mberengwa and Zvishavane has been completely cut-off following the torrential rainfall.
Motorists are using the Gwanda route to access some areas of Mberengwa, while major referral hospitals like Mnene, Msume, Chegato and Jacker are now inaccessible.
Some schools have also been closed.
Mberengwa West Member of Parliament Cde Joram Gumbo (Zanu-PF) said the worst affected areas were Mnene, Chaza, Chagato, Mapiravana Gawururo and Njerenje.
“We are hoping that the Civil Protection Unit will respond quickly before the situation gets worse,” he said.
In Chivi, evacuation teams of families at the Tokwe-Murkosi flood basin faced problems yesterday with only 200 people having been moved to the Nuanetsi ranch since the beginning of the week, with floods still causing a major concern.
Trucks and tractors deployed to evacuate people were facing challenges in accessing some of the areas in the ensuing rains that continued to pound the area.
Masvingo provincial administrator and Tokwe-Murkosi Relocation Co-ordinating Committee chairman Mr Felix Chikovo said they had rescue and search teams to identify endangered families to airlift them to safety.
Contractors of the mega dam were racing against time yesterday to increase the level of the dam wall as more water continued to pour into the reservoir with the two tributaries, Tokwe and Murkosi rivers having burst their banks.
Source: Herald

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