SCORES of people who were in a bank queue fled in terror when brakes of a bus failed and it then free-wheeled in reverse towards them in the city centre in Bulawayo yesterday morning.
The bus belonging to Nkosana Bus Service under the Zupco franchise, moved for about 50 metres and only stopped after crashing into a tree near First Capital Bank, formerly Barclays Bank.
The bus had parked near the Bulawayo Public Library at corner 8th Avenue and Fort Street when the brakes failed.
Emganwini and Nketa suburbs commuters had just disembarked when the bus rolled down a slope towards the bank.
The bus gained momentum and the driver could be seen battling to avoid other vehicles and pedestrians before it crashed into a tree.
Onlookers screamed in panic as they watched helplessly while the driver struggled to control the bus which at one time appeared headed straight into the banking hall.
Fortunately noone was injured in the freak accident.
Mr Tinashe Gumbo from Nketa Suburb who had just dropped off the bus, said he was shocked to see the bus following him.
“I was moving down the road when I suddenly heard the bus hooting behind me. The bus was moving in reverse until it hit a tree,” said Mr Gumbo.
A witness who was outside the bank said everyone abandoned the queue and fled for safety. “I was terrified. I looked back to see the bus coming directly at me. People in the queue started running in different directions and I joined them. The bus was gathering speed as it approached the bank,” said Mr Mandla Mathe.