Forty-six passengers were injured when an overloaded CAG-owned bus veered off the road and landed on its side in Kamativi last night.
The bus which was carrying 97 passengers, way above its prescribed capacity of 65 was coming from Binga and heading to Bulawayo when the accident happened.
The driver is said to have lost control of the bus as he descended part of the treacherous Kamativi road built on a mountain and dropping into a hill.
The road which meanders the slope has claimed many lives over the years.
Matabeleland North provincial police spokesperson, Inspector Glory Banda, confirmed the accident and said the 46 injured passengers were taken to St Patrick’s hospital for treatment.
“On 6 January 2022 at around 2230 hours, Andrew Hlatshwayo was driving a Yutong bus registration number ADC1141 owned by CAG from Binga to Bulawayo with 97 passengers on board. Upon approaching 26km peg on the said road, he lost control of the bus and it veered off the road to the left. It landed on its left side. The driver escaped unhurt and a total of 46 passengers were injured. Injured passengers were taken to St Patricks’ Hospital in Hwange. The police are investigating the cause of the accident,” said Insp. Banda.
He urged drivers to exercise caution when driving at night and avoid overloading passengers saying that increased the risks of an accident.
“Drivers should exercise caution when driving during the night and when it is raining. We urge motorists not to cross flooded rivers. Transport operators should prioritize human life over money and carry only the number of prescribed carrying capacity of the bus.”
Insp. Banda said almost all survivors had escaped with no life threatening injuries.
“Generally there were no life threatening injuries. I only noticed one victim who sustained a broken hand, whilst many had sustained visible different injuries. Some were just complaining of general pains on their bodies.”
A survivor of the accident told CITE that they were lucky to be alive as the bus only fell on its side before they got to the dangerous and slippery areas of the road.
“Everything happened so fast; we were descending the Kamativi slope around a bend when the bus suddenly fell on its side. A lot of people were lucky to have escaped with just injuries as by God’s grace the bus never overturned,” said one passenger.
Another survivor said the end of the holiday season and the need to return to work had put pressure on the transport system resulting in some operators trying to cash in on the development by overloading.