54 escape burning bus
FIFTY-FOUR passengers travelling on a Proliner Luxury Bus from Johannesburg, South Africa, cheated death when the vehicle went up in flames near Chivhu along the Harare-Beitbridge highway yesterday morning.
Goods worth thousands of dollars were lost in the fire that reduced the bus to a shell.
The bus, eyewitnesses said, caught fire at around 7:30AM near Featherstone about 40km from Chivhu. All the 54 passengers scrambled to safety and no one was injured.
National police spokesperson Commissioner Charity Charamba said:
“Yes I confirm that a Proliner bus coming from South Africa caught fire near Chivhu this morning (yesterday) at around 7:30AM. It’s suspected that the rear wheels were binding. Luckily they noticed the fire early and everyone got out.”
Asst Comm Charamba said messages on the Whatsapp platform claiming that some passengers had died in the fire were untrue.
“Some people are now abusing the social media and it’s uncalled for. There were 54 passengers on board and they all came out safely.
“There were no injuries recorded and above all no one died. Only their goods were burnt in the fire,” she said, urging motorists to always be on the lookout for such freak accidents on the road.
“A driver should feel when something is wrong. In this case the rear wheel binded and he must have felt some resistance on the speed of the bus before the fire started,” she said.
An eyewitnesses told The Chronicle that the bus left Chivhu at around 7AM and everything seemed normal.
“On getting to Featherstone, the driver noticed some smoke coming from the back and stopped the bus. Immediately passengers started getting out of the bus.
“Although panic gripped them, they all managed to get off. Some passengers managed to save some of their goods,” said the eyewitness on condition of anonymity.
Some were not as lucky as they lost their luggage, accessories like cellphones, laptops as well as beds, among others. — @pchitumba1. Assistant
The Proliner bus burns near Chivhu along the Harare-Beitbridge highway yesterday morning