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Sihube bus accident death toll rises to five

by Staff reporter
09 Jan 2012 at 20:08hrs | Views
THE death toll of the Sihube bus that overturned on the outskirts of Bulawayo on Friday has risen to five amid revelations the bus was overloaded, the Chronicle reported.

Two people died on the spot while 60 others were injured, 10 of them seriously, when the bus burst its front tyre, veered off the road and overturned at the 23km peg along Bulawayo-Nkayi Road.

The bus was coming from Zhombe heading for Bulawayo. Upon reaching a bridge across Koce River at about 11am, it burst a front tyre and veered off the road before overturning a few metres away from the bridge.
The injured were rushed to Mpilo Central Hospital.

Bulawayo police spokesperson Inspector Mandlenkosi Moyo confirmed the deaths of three other people yesterday and said their next of kin had been notified.

"Three more people have died bringing the death toll to  five of which three are men. The deceased are Eliah Moyo  (30), from Inyathi area in Bubi, Lindiwe Msimanga (40), from Emakhandeni, Sitsha Cetshwayo (64), from Chief Malisa in Zhombe, Collen Sibanda (53), from Cowdray Park and Themba Tshuma (35).

"We have discovered that the bus had more than 74   passengers. The police are still investigating the cause  of the accident including the fitness of the vehicle," said Insp Moyo.

"The law puts it clear that if the bus is overloaded and gets to a roadblock, all the excess passengers would be forced to disembark and that the bus crew should refund them fully.

"We would like to warn transport operators and travellers that we are going to be strict on this issue and at the same time the bus will be ticketed as a deterrent measure."

Meanwhile, Bulawayo City Council's chief fire officer, Mr Richard Peterson said there was nothing wrong with the delays in rescuing some of the victims, as there was a need to be careful in order to save their lives.
He was responding to concerns that the rescue team took about three hours to remove some of the passengers who were trapped in the wreckage.

"There were nine people who were trapped in that bus and we took more time to rescue them because we wanted to save their lives. We had to deal with them individually so that we do not worsen their condition. The safety of fire fighters is also important," said Mr Peterson.

On the quality of his team's equipment he said: "It is  also not true that our equipment is inadequate. We have all the rescue equipment. It is only that sometimes our work  does not need to be hurried if we are to save lives. In situations where we need to do our work expeditiously, we are capable of doing so."

Efforts to get comment on the condition of the survivors who are admitted to hospital were fruitless as this reporter was tossed from one office to the other by officials at Mpilo Central Hospital.

Dr Wedu Ndebele, the acting chief executive officer of the hospital, could also not be reached on his mobile phone.

Source - Chronicle