GWERU: Six people, for which four are believed to be Chinese nationals, are feared dead after being marooned while trying to cross a flooded bridge along Gweru river this Sunday morning.
The six were travelling from Gweru towards Lower Gwelo along the Gweru-Matobo road in a Toyota Hilux twin cab.
They are yet to be retrieved.
Head of the central protection unit who is also Gweru district administrator Jorum Chimedza confirmed the incident and said rescue operations are set to resume around dawn.
“I can confirm that a Toyota twin cab which tried to cross the Gweru river behind me has been swept away early in the morning. The rescue operation is to be done by the sub-Aqua unit which was in Chiredzi attending to the same situation. When we phoned, they had gone to Chivi where another incident had happened. We hope they will be here any time from now,” Chimedza said.
An eyewitness, Isiah Kundoiswewo told CommuTalk how the incident transpired.
“We were still sleeping and were awoken by a bang after two wish vehicles had an accident. As I was trying to check on the accident the truck came with a compressor at the back. It then stopped by the river and some people who were sitting at the back were moved to the seats and it tried to cross the flooded river. The compressor being towed was initially swept away and eventually the car was overwhelmed leading to the unfortunate incident,” Kundoiswewo said.
Chiwundura legislator Livingstone Chiminya said there is need to upgrade the bridge since people are having problems year in and year out.
“This bridge is becoming a big problem. We are facing a huge problem particularly in this COVID 19 crisis. People need to buy basics in town but now they can’t even cross due to these floods. We need to engage the responsible authorities and make sure that we widen this bridge,” Chimina said.
Heavy rains have been pounding the country in the recent past with a lot of rivers flooded amid calls for drivers to exercise extreme caution when crossing flooded rivers.