Matabeleland North Correspondent
AN unidentified woman and four minors believed to be her children are lucky to be alive after a vehicle they were traveling in rammed onto a fuel pump at Comoil garage in Lupane Saturday morning, causing a fire that burnt down the car and part of the service station.
Witnesses who were at the garage when the accident occurred said the woman may have been speeding as she lost control of the Mitsubishi Pajero station wagon which hit a kerb before uprooting the fuel pump.
There was a loud bang at the vehicle hit the pump missing one of the fuel attendants only identified as Ndlovu and this was followed by a bolt of fire and smoke.
The pump was burnt down while the shed was engulfed in smoke.
The vehicle was reduced to a wreck and onlookers later pulled it to about 20 metres from the pump station.
The driver and her passengers escaped unhurt and salvaged some of their luggage.
The garage is located at the 171km peg along the Bulawayo-Victoria Falls highway and the driver is believed to have turned off the road into the garage either to refuel or rest.
She was driving towards Bulawayo.
Witnesses said she was speeding.
“It came from the direction of Hwange and suddenly hit the kerb before hitting and uprooting the pump. The car suddenly caught fire and there was a huge dark cloud of smoke,” one of the witnesses said.
Another source said: “People tried to put out the fire but it was too late. We hope the fuel tanks underground were not damaged.”
Police spokesperson for Matabeleland North Inspector Glory Banda could not be reached for comment.
Police who attended the scene however said investigations are underway to establish what really transpired.
The fuel attendants said the garage will be closed for some days to establish the amount of damage and work on the repairs.
Lupane has only two fuel service stations.