Drowning claims more lives

HARARE - Six people have died in three different cases drowning. In one of the accidents, a bus crew tried to cross a flooded river with the help of a tractor.

This happened in Chiredzi where a commuter ominibus was swept by a flooded river on Sunday night resulting in the death of four people.

National police spokesperson Andrew Phiri said a commuter omnibus travelling along Chiredzi-Chilonga Road tried to cross Runde River with the help a tractor but was swept away by the high-powered water.

“The driver of the kombi, whom we cannot name now because he is deceased, sought the assistance of a tractor crew to cross the flooded river.

“Before they could even go half way, the kombi was overpowered by water resulting in both the tractor and the kombi being swept away. One person survived while four others died on the spot,” Phiri said.

According to police, there were four people in the commuter omnibus while three passengers were travelling on the tractor.

Phiri warned travellers to avoid crossing flooded rivers even if they are using heavy vehicles.

“We have been saying this for sometime but it seems no one is listening, people should never attempt to cross flooded rivers, and this is because no one knows the velocity and pressure pushing the water. It is wise for people to wait until the volume goes down,” the police spokesperson said.

In Harare, two children drowned in shallow wells in separate cases.

Provincial spokesperson, Tadious Chibanda said the first case took place in Epworth when a four-year-old drowned in a well while playing with her friend.

Natalie Musekiwa, according to the police, drowned 10 metres away from her homestead.

“The friend ran to alert the parents who were inside the house. They rescued her but she died on admission at Epworth Clinic,” said Chibanda.

“Another case happened in Waterfalls where a two-and-half-year-old drowned in a well while playing alone.

“The mother discovered the incident when she was fetching water for dishes. We are saying people should take care of their children and make sure wells situated within the yard are protected,” Chibanda said.

This comes a week after four other people drowned in Suswe River in Mutoko when a Toyota Corona they were travelling in was swept at a flooded river. - Xolisani Ncube

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