Thupeyo Muleya, Beitbridge Bureau
A 39-YEAR-OLD truck driver escaped death by a whisker early yesterday when his tanker carrying 32,2 tonnes of sulphate caught fire while he was attending to a mechanical fault.
The incident occurred at around 5am about 20km out of Beitbridge along the Beitbridge- Bulawayo Highway.
The officer commanding police in Beitbridge District, Chief Superintendent Tichaona Nyongo said the tanker was travelling from South Africa to Bulawayo.
Chief Superintendent Tichaona Nyongo
“Our preliminary investigations indicate that the truck driver who is employed by Nello Logistics of South Africa was driving a Scania horse and towing two trailers from South Africa to Bulawayo. When the driver got to the 293 km peg, he noticed that the rear right wheel of one of the trailers was binding,” he said.
Chief Supt Nyongo said when the driver stopped the vehicle to check on the fault that is when he discovered that the wheel had caught fire. He unsuccessfully tried to put out the fire resulting in the truck being burnt.
“Unfortunately, firefighters arrived when the flame had become uncontrollable. The driver failed to salvage his belongings which were inside the truck including the import documents,” he said.
The incident happened barely two days after three people were killed while several others were injured when two vehicles they were travelling in were involved in a head-on collision along the Beitbridge-Bulawayo road near Malala Village on Sunday.
A Toyota Corolla carrying mourners was heading towards the border town when it collided with a Toyota Quantum, which was travelling in the opposite direction.
Following the collision, the Toyota Quantum caught fire and in the process, one person was trapped and died on the spot.
Two others who were in the Toyota Corolla died. The bodies were taken to the Beitbridge District Hospital mortuary.
Recently three Zimbabweans died while another was seriously injured when a tanker carrying liquefied petroleum gas exploded in Boksburg in Gauteng province on Christmas Eve. —@tupeyo