Disaster as car plunges onto railway line at fly-over, driver disappears


MYSTERY surrounds a suspected accident where a Mercedes Benz E class 450 plunged onto the railway line at the Emakhandeni fly-over in Bulawayo, forcing residents to panic and intercept a speeding goods train that was coming from Victoria Falls.

Panicky residents, who believed they had averted disaster, said they were shocked to find no one in the vehicle when they removed it from the tracks.

A recovery truck prepares to tow away the Mercedes-Benz that plunged onto the railway line at the Emakhandeni fly-over in Bulawayo yesterday

The vehicle reportedly veered off the road before overturning and landing on its roof on the railway line at about 4AM yesterday.

Lordwork Chapisa saved the day when he ran for about 300 metres to intercept the train which was approaching the scene of the accident.

“I was coming from my usual morning jog with my friends when we noticed a vehicle under the fly-over.

We quickly rushed to the scene. We tried calling emergency numbers as well as the police and Fire Brigade numbers but they were not being answered.

“As we were still arguing on what we could do to move the vehicle out of the tracks, we heard the piercing whistle of a train that was approaching,” said Mr Chapisa.

He said they asked a man who was in a red T-shirt to remove it so that he could run towards the train and flag it down to alert the train driver.

“I ran for about 300 metres towards the train as I continuously waved the T-shirt. The driver and his colleague realised that there was danger ahead. He slowed down the train and eventually stopped. He was thankful for what we did. He said the train would have hit the car and probably derailed causing extensive damage,” said Mr Chapisa.

He appealed to the Fire Brigade and the police to provide emergency cell phone numbers, saying the land line numbers were not reliable.

A woman who declined to be named claimed to be the owner of the car as residents gathered around it towards midday yesterday.

She said it was being driven by her mechanic who was taking a colleague home.

“My car was faulty and I had taken it to the mechanic for fixing. I don’t know what caused the accident but the mechanic was coming from Mpopoma where he stays going to Richmond to drop a friend at about 4AM.

“I’m yet to see them but I’m told they sustained minor bruises and they were treated and discharged at Mpilo Central Hospital,” said the woman.

NRZ public relations manager Mr Nyasha Maravanyika could not be reached for comment yesterday.

In June this year, a 13-year-old Bulawayo girl saved the lives of about 300 people who were on a Bulawayo-bound NRZ train after she reported a broken track to the NRZ officials.

Nozipho Sibanda was honoured by the NRZ for her civic duty with a full bursary worth $1 300.

— Chronicle

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