West Nich bus fire vic­tims named

Sunday News (Zimbabwe) - - Front Page -

THE po­lice have re­leased names of 27 of the 30 vic­tims who died in the Brook­lyn bus ex­plo­sion at West Ni­chol­son in Gwanda District two weeks ago amid a som­bre at­mos­phere that en­gulfed United Bu­l­awayo Hos­pi­tals ( UBH) mor­tu­ary yes­ter­day as rel­a­tives of the de­ceased trooped in to col­lect their loved ones for burial with heavy faces and tears.

The re­mains of three other peo­ple were uniden­ti­fied as rel­a­tives of the vic­tims are yet to ap­proach of­fi­cials and pro­vide DNA sam­ples to en­able the iden­ti­fi­ca­tion. The ac­ci­dent oc­curred a cou­ple of weeks ago at the 181km peg along the Bu­l­awayo-Beit­bridge Road and is sus­pected to have been caused by a gas cylin­der that ex­ploded. The bus was trav­el­ling from Zvisha­vane to Musina in South Africa. A to­tal of 33 peo­ple — 32 on the spot — died in the in­ferno and 30 of them were burnt beyond recog­ni­tion while 27 oth­ers suf­fered se­ri­ous in­juries.

Na­tional po­lice spokesper­son Se­nior As­sis­tant Com­mis­sioner Char­ity Charamba named the 27 vic­tims who were iden­ti­fied with the as­sis­tance of the Na­tional Uni­ver­sity of Science and Tech­nol­ogy’s Ap­plied Ge­net­ics Test­ing Cen­tre. She ap­pealed to mem­bers of the pub­lic who sus­pected that their rel­a­tives died in the in­ferno to come for­ward and en­able the iden­ti­fi­ca­tion of the three re­main­ing vic­tims.

“The Zim­babwe Repub­lic Po­lice in­forms the na­tion that 27 bodies of the vic­tims who per­ished in the fa­tal fire in­ci­dent that oc­curred at the 181 kilo­me­tre peg along Bu­l­away­oBeit­bridge road on 15 Novem­ber 2018, have been iden­ti­fied through foren­sic DNA tests which were con­ducted by the Na­tional Uni­ver­sity of Science and Tech­nol­ogy.

“The Zim­babwe Repub­lic Po­lice is still ap­peal­ing to mem­bers of the pub­lic who sus­pect that their rel­a­tives might have per­ished in the in­ferno to come for­ward for the DNA test­ing process at Nust, as three other re­mains are yet to be iden­ti­fied,” said Snr Asst Com Charamba.

She said the po­lice and the Reg­is­trar Gen­eral’s of­fice have es­tab­lished a con­tact point at UBH for the pro­cess­ing of burial or­ders. The iden­ti­fied vic­tims are; Bekezela Msipa, Boyd Mn­hema, Chiedza Chatikobo, Fadzai Cha­paradza, Getha Moyo, Ju­dith Dh­li­wayo, Lil­ian Kud­hande, Lin­net Ndavambwa, Liver­son Ma­sunda, Love­ness Ncube, Maria Chi­longo, Maria Wil­son, Mary Moyo, May­i­bongwe Mh­langa, Melusi Ny­oni, Mhu­rayi Moyo, Mo­ment Mpofu, Pre­cious Chatira Mpofu, Pre­cious Zulu, Ru­tendo Masv­ina, Sim­ilo Ndlovu, Sit­shengisiwe Ny­athi, So­neni Dube, Tafadzwa Thomas, Takudzwa Cha­paradza, Them­be­lani Ny­athi and Thengiwe Sibanda.

In an in­ter­view on the side­lines of the fu­neral ser­vice, Mata­bele­land South Pro­vin­cial Ad­min­is­tra­tor Ms Sithandiwe Ncube paid tribute to all those that had been work­ing flat out to en­sure that the de­ceased were iden­ti­fied so as to fa­cil­i­tate their burial.

“So far ev­ery­thing has gone very well, we have had the re­sults of the DNA tests and peo­ple have been in­formed of the out­come, at the mo­ment what is hap­pen­ing is that all those with re­mains that have been iden­ti­fied they have come for­ward to claim their loved ones. Rel­a­tives are now sort­ing out burial or­ders, get­ting ready to go to the fu­neral par­lour.

“As we men­tioned af­ter the ac­ci­dent, the Civil Pro­tec­tion Unit has given all the fam­i­lies $500, Brook­lyn Bus Ser­vices has also promised to give each fam­ily $200, the chal­lenge we are fac­ing for now is fuel but we are now talk­ing to fuel sta­tions such that if the be­reaved fam­i­lies pro­duce their burial or­ders they can ac­cess fuel with­out hav­ing to queue,” said Ms Ncube.

Rel­a­tives who spoke to Sun­day News were all in grief say­ing the two-weeks wait for the DNA re­sults had been painful to them and now they were fac­ing the re­al­ity that their loved ones had in­deed passed on.

“This is es­pe­cially painful for us be­cause my father-in-law, Mr Them­be­lani Ny­athi, had just boarded the bus and the ex­plo­sion oc­curred about 15 min­utes later, it is un­be­liev­able,” said Mr Peter Kanongo.

Ms No­math­emba Msipa who lost a sis­ter, Bekezela, said as a bread­win­ner to her fam­ily they now did not know how to move for­ward.

“My sis­ter was 31 years old, sep­a­rated with her hus­band but tak­ing care of her three chil­dren and the rest of the fam­ily through cross-bor­der trad­ing, she was hard work­ing and would al­ways teach peo­ple not to rely on any­one but work hard for their own up­lift­ment,” said Ms Msipa.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Zimbabwe

© PressReader. All rights reserved.