Kiyapili Sibanda, Chronicle Reporter
A WOMAN from Magwegwe North suburb in Bulawayo and her two-year-old son died after she allegedly threw herself in front of a train while holding the baby.
The reason why Leah Phiri (19), who is alleged to have been a single parent living with her mother, decided to kill herself and her son could not be established immediately.
Bulawayo police spokesperson Inspector Precious Simango confirmed the incident which happened at Luveve railway station on Sunday evening.
“We received a report of an alleged suicide concerning a 19-year-old woman and her two-year-old son. It happened in the evening at Luveve railway station. We heard that the deceased pretended that she wanted to board the train and when she saw the train coming, she grabbed her son and sat at the centre of the railway line,” she said.
“We are told that other passengers tried to convince her not to do so, but she refused and she and her baby were run over by the train.”
National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) spokesperson Mr Nyasha Maravanyika said NRZ security and officers from ZRP Luveve attended the scene.
“We received news of the incident involving the suicide of a woman and her baby. It is alleged that the woman rushed in front of an incoming train holding her son. The incident was attended by our security and ZRP Luveve. The train was leaving Bulawayo along the Dete-Hwange route,” he said.
Mr Maravanyika said the NRZ was saddened by the incident.
“As NRZ we are very saddened by the incident. We appeal to members of the public to respect trains. People should not resort to committing suicide using trains. Trains are meant to serve the community not to end people’s lives,” he said.
Magwegwe North residents were shocked about the incident and wondered why the woman decided to commit suicide and kill her child as well.
The woman’s relatives declined to comment on the matter last night saying they were yet to sit down as a family to discuss the tragedy.