Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Front Page - Leonard Ncube

THREE peo­ple died on the spot while 35 others sus­tained vary­ing de­grees of in­juries when a Bravo bus veered off the road and landed on its side near Half­way Lodge on the Bu­l­awayo-Vic­to­ria Falls Road yes­ter­day.

The bus crew scrapped the name and logo off the bus and cov­ered it with a plas­tic sheet as it was be­ing towed to Bu­l­awayo in the morn­ing, ap­par­ently so that peo­ple wouldn’t no­tice that it was a Bravo bus.

Po­lice na­tional spokesper­son Se­nior As­sis­tant Com­mis­sioner Char­ity Charamba said in­ves­ti­ga­tions were un­der­way to es­tab­lish the cause of the ac­ci­dent with ini­tial find­ings show­ing that the driver lost con­trol af­ter the bus de­vel­oped a me­chan­i­cal fault.

“I can con­firm that three peo­ple died on the spot while others were in­jured when a Bravo Tours bus was in­volved in an ac­ci­dent at 1.30AM,” said Snr Asst Comm Charamba.

“It looks like there was a me­chan­i­cal fault as the driver heard some noise re­sult­ing in the bus veer­ing to the left where it slid on its side and killed three peo­ple on the spot. Fif­teen were se­ri­ously in­jured while 20 are sta­ble.”

One of the de­ceased is a se­nior boat cap­tain (name with­held) with a lead­ing tour op­er­at­ing com­pany in Vic­to­ria Falls.

The bus was trav­el­ling from Vic­to­ria Falls to Harare with about 45 pas­sen­gers.

Sources said the crew had ear­lier on spo­ken about a loose bar un­der the bus but ig­nored it say­ing it was go­ing to be fixed in Bu­l­awayo.

When it got to Half­way, sources said, the bus hit a pot­hole re­sult­ing in the driver los­ing con­trol.

Snr Asst Comm Charamba said po­lice were con­cerned about mo­torists and bus op­er­a­tors al­low­ing their ve­hi­cles to travel at night as that puts peo­ple’s lives at risk.

“Peo­ple should avoid driv­ing at night as it’s very dan­ger­ous and puts peo­ple’s lives at risk. We are con­cerned about bus own­ers who al­low buses to travel at night. We are in­ves­ti­gat­ing and we want to urge driv­ers to make sure their ve­hi­cles are in good con­di­tion and avoid driv­ing them when in doubt,” she said.

“There are some dan­gers at night like re­duced vis­i­bil­ity, drunken driv­ing by some mo­torists who may en­croach onto the lane of on­com­ing traf­fic while there are also pot­holes as well as an­i­mals that are dif­fi­cult to see,” she said.

The po­lice spokesper­son said re­ac­tion times for po­lice and other stake­hold­ers is slower when an ac­ci­dent hap­pens at night com­pared to dur­ing the day, thereby in­creas­ing chances of fa­tal­i­ties oc­cur­ring.

Snr Asst Comm Charamba said scrap­ping of in­scrip­tions from the bus was tan­ta­mount to lack of re­spon­si­bil­ity.

Mr Ray­mond Mudondis­vika who was treated and dis­charged at St Luke’s, said: “The driver said some­thing broke from un­der the bus and sud­denly it started swerv­ing from side to side. Five am­bu­lances and some pri­vate trucks rushed the in­jured in the morn­ing to St Luke’s Hospi­tal.”

Some were treated at Fa­tima Clinic while the crit­i­cally in­jured were trans­ferred to Mpilo Cen­tral Hospi­tal.

In­com­ing Lu­pane Dis­trict Ad­min­is­tra­tor Mrs En­nety Sithole, who chairs the Dis­trict Civil Pro­tec­tion Unit said a team from the unit vis­ited the scene of the ac­ci­dent to as­sess the sit­u­a­tion.

A woman who picked the Bravo phone in the evening said: “What comment do you want when you have al­ready pub­lished on­line? Call to­mor­row peo­ple have knocked off.”—@ncubeleon.

Work­ers re­move the brand­ing from the Bravo bus which crashed yes­ter­day

Po­lice of­fi­cers clear the crash site on the Bu­l­awayo-Vic­to­ria Falls Road yes­ter­day

Judge Pres­i­dent Ge­orge Chi­weshe

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