Four miners perish in Unki horror crash

HARARE - Four Unki Mine workers were killed when a bus overturned early yesterday morning in Shurugwi, the platinum miner confirmed.

The bus fell off a bridge as it was taking workers to Shurugwi and Gweru from the Anglo-American Platinum-owned Unki Mines — which operates in Shurugwi and about 350km south of the capital.

The accident injured dozens of people and critically injured eight out of about 65 passengers on board.

TRAGIC: A bus lies partially submerged in water after falling off a bridge, killing four mine workers in Shurugwi.

The injured were ferried to hospitals in Gweru and some of them remained in critical condition, a spokesperson for Unki said.

The road accident happened at approximately 05:21am at a public road approximately 9km from the Shurugwi platinum mine.

Charity Charamba, the police spokesperson, said investigations into the bus crash were underway.

Most of those on board were mine workers.

Witnesses said the vehicle’s brakes failed as it reached the bridge, falling over onto a river bed.

The bus ended up on its back on a river bed with debris strewn along the river.

Mpumi Sithole, Anglo American Corporation’s media and external relations manager, said Unki Mine was saddened to report the death of its employees.

“65 employees were being transported by a contract transport company, Scanlink (Private) Limited from Unki Mine to Shurugwi and Gweru,” Sithole told the Daily News.

“Four employees were fatally injured and succumbed to their injuries.”

Walter Nemasisi, the general manager of Unki Mine said: “I am deeply saddened by this tragic accident involving our employees. I extend my heartfelt condolences to the deceased’s families.

“We will work hand-in-hand with authorities to determine the cause.”

Unki Mine management said it has informed the deceased families and will provide the necessary support to the families, friends and colleagues of the deceased.

Meanwhile, eight employees remained in critical condition.

Unki acknowledged rescue assistance rendered by the local community, Zimbabwe Republic Police, Air Force of Zimbabwe, Gweru Fire Brigade and the local hospitals and emergency services.

The platinum miner said a comprehensive probe to determine the cause of this accident was underway.

One witness said: “I saw bodies everywhere, people in shock and disbelief. There was an awful lot of blood.”

The witness, who declined to be named, said when she saw the overturned bus and “people running” to help, having been trained through her job in first aid and CPR, she moved closer and saw what she described as a people trapped under the bus, bloodied passengers with head injuries and at least one person with a dislocated shoulder.

The fire department noted that four passers-by arrived first to help, including one who helped pull the passengers from the bus.

Those helping were soon met by fire fighters and crews from ambulances and emergency services.

Injured  passengers were rushed from the crash, some were treated and released at the scene of the accident and others were taken to local hospitals.

“Some of the passengers were hurting very badly. You could see it in their faces,” the witness said.

Comments (6)

may all your souls rest in peace

listen - 24 February 2014

Truth is there are hardly any truly reliable passenger transport companies in the Midlands. Unki can only guarantee the safety of it's workforce by establishing a full,self-contained transport department of its own. That bus probably left its depot with a known fault.

David Kasiyamhuka - 24 February 2014

Its Unki fault it should be ts responsiblity to mantain good roads and even to construct strong durable bridges for the benefit of ts employees.BE YOUR BROTHER"S KEEPER

MUSORO - 25 February 2014

How ironic it is? Unki spends a lot of money talking safety, NOSA, SHE etc and yet constructs a dangerously narrow bridge in this day and age? What does that narrow bridge save?Unki musatambe nevanhu, pull down that narrow bridge yesterday and build a safe bridge with two lanes now.Muri kumora mari asi you dont want to build a wide bridge, why?Hapana safety dzamunotitaurira as long as that narrow bridge exists on your road.Next time i visit Unki I want to see that hammock like bridge gone- pliz take note!

Mupfana weBikini - 25 February 2014

As a matter of fact the bus is not a plublicly operated bus, its a bus bought specifically for Unki. It was financed by Unki mines so i am not sure if your sentiments are based on fact or hearsay. Its an accident and accidents do happen. That bridge has been there since 2007 so this being the first accident since then can show you that its not really the mine's fault. May these guys souls rest in Peace. At the same time people lets not say things we dnt know and lets not blame one another. stop pointing fingers at anyone. Accidents happen daily.

zimbo - 27 February 2014

you spend most of your time victimising workers instead of ensuring their safety.The issue of that narrow bridge was mentioned a million times and you chose to ignore it.You are busy bulding your palace in Harare when innocent people are dying.Inguva chete

soft - 12 May 2015

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