Local News

Here is how the PashonLink bus caught fire as police collect DNA for the deceased 8

The Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) has shed light on circumstances that led to the Pashonlink bus catching fire at the 26-kilometre mark along Nyabadza-Gandanza Road on Sunday evening.

In a statement on Monday evening, the police reported that the bus fire occurred around 7:00 PM on Sunday.

Also read: Seven Bernard Mizeki Pilgrims Die in Bus Fire Accident

ZRP UPDATES ON PASSIONLINK INJURED

According to the ZRP, eight people are suspected to have been burnt beyond recognition, and ten others were injured. Nine of the injured were admitted to Rusape General Hospital. Three have been treated and discharged, while one was transferred to Victoria Chitepo Hospital in Mutare.

The ZRP explained the sequence of events leading to the fire. Investigations revealed that some passengers noticed smoke coming from the engine and alerted the driver. The driver stopped the bus to investigate. Upon opening the engine cover, a ball of fire erupted, engulfing the entire bus.

The driver and 57 passengers escaped through the door and emergency exit windows.

Police added that experts are on the scene to collect DNA samples to identify the eight victims.

Also read: ZACC makes moves against Chivayo but his response is epic

Full Police Statement on the Accident

Here is the full statement from the ZRP:

“Reference is made to the Zimbabwe Republic Police’s post on the X platform concerning a fatal road traffic accident which occurred at the 26 kilometre peg along Nyabadza-Gandanza Road on 16th June 2024 at around 1900 hours.

The Zimbabwe Republic Police confirms that eight people are suspected to have been burnt beyond recognition whilst ten others were injured when a Pashonlink bus with 65 passengers caught fire.

Investigations by the police have established that the bus caught fire after some passengers had alerted the driver that smoke was coming out of the engine. As a result, the driver stopped the bus to investigate the source of the smoke. Subsequently, a ball of fire came out of the engine and engulfed the whole bus after the driver had opened the engine cover.

The driver and 57 passengers managed to escape from the burning bus through the door and emergency exit windows.

Nine injured victims were admitted at Rusape General Hospital and three were treated and discharged while one victim was referred to Victoria Chitepo Hospital, Mutare.

Experts are currently at the scene to obtain DNA samples to identify the eight victims. More details will be released in due course.”

Government Cancels PashonLink Bus Operating Licence

Meanwhile, the government has cancelled the operating permit of Pashonlink Coaches after one of its buses was involved in an accident that claimed the lives of eight Anglican Diocese of Manicaland members on Sunday evening.

Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development, Felix Mhona, visited the scene of the accident on Sunday, before visiting the survivors at Rusape General Hospital.

He said the Government has revoked Passion Link Coaches’ operating licence with immediate effect after the owner admitted that the bus that was involved in the accident had no certificate of fitness. Said Mhona:

The bus operator has openly admitted that the bus had no certificate of fitness, meaning it was not roadworthy.

A bus that does not have a certificate of fitness should not be used to ferry people, and the police will arrest both the bus owner and driver as part of the investigations.

The other buses from this company will not be allowed to ply our roads again with immediate effect.

We have cancelled their operating permit, which means we will not allow them to ply our roads to carry people.

If they had complied with the traffic laws, which do not allow buses without a certificate of fitness to ply our roads, this accident could have been avoided.

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