FIFTY-one people were injured, some of them seriously, after a bus they were travelling in hit two cows, veered off the road and plunged into Shangani River in Nkayi North.
The incident occurred in Sivomo area along the Bulawayo-Nkayi Road at around 4PM on Sunday.
The bus was coming from Bulawayo headed for Nkayi. National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi confirmed the accident. He said the bus hit two cows before plunging into the river.
The driver of the bus and 14 passengers escaped unhurt.
“An accident occurred yesterday (Sunday) along the Bulawayo-Nkayi Road at the Shangani bridge where a Kakono bus veered off the road and fell into the river. The bus hit two cattle resulting in the driver losing control,” said Asst Comm Nyathi.
He said the injured were ferried to Nkayi District Hospital and some are in a critical condition.
“The injured were taken to Nkayi District Hospital, some are reported to be in a critical condition while the majority of them are said to be stable. So far only one person has been treated and discharged,” Asst Comm Nyathi said.
He urged drivers to be always on the lookout for stray animals.
“I urge drivers to be always cautious of stray animals. They should also avoid speeding because most accidents that occur are a result of human error,” Asst Comm Nyathi said.
Ms Miriam Sibanda, who was in the bus, said they were lucky to be alive.
“The driver just lost control of the bus and it veered off the road. The bus then plunged into the river. We are lucky because a lot of lives could have been lost,” she said.
Another survivor who preferred anonymity said the driver had no option but to hit the cattle which were on the road as it was too late to avoid them.
“When we reached Shangani River, we saw cattle on the road but it was difficult to avoid them so the driver hit them and the bus veered off the road and plunged into the river. A lot of people were injured but I thank God because I escaped with minor injuries,” she said.