Two Passengers Drown After Vehicle Falls Off Hwange Bridge

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By Matebeleland North Correspondent

Hwange: Two people drowned while two others escaped after a vehicle they were travelling in developed a mechanical fault and fell off a bridge along the ruined Deka road which connects Hwange to Msuna on the Zambezi River.

The incident happened on Tuesday evening on Deka river bridge.

Villagers living along Deka have appealed to authorities to urgently rehabilitate the road and the bridge across Deka river which is now a death trap.

The owner of the car, Mike Ndlovu and a woman only identified as Fatima died on the spot while Xolisani, a friend to Ndlovu who was on the wheel and another passenger reportedly survived.

There were four occupants in the vehicle which reportedly developed a suspension problem while approaching the bridge, resulting in the driver failing to control it.

The vehicle veered off and fell into the water where it was submerged, trapping the occupants inside.

It is not yet clear how the survivors escaped before swimming out of the water, leaving the deceased trapped.

Police retrieved the body of Ndlovu and Fatima on Wednesday.

According to a report made to the police, the Toyota Chaser belonged to Ndlovu and his friend Xolisani also known as Ubbie was driving.

A village head Godfrey Dube said Deka road is in a bad state and needs urgent attention.

“I was at the scene when the bodies were retrieved. It was a male and a female. The road and bridge were temporarily closed as the search for the bodies was conducted until they were retrieved from underneath the water.

“This road is bad, companies have destroyed it completely and now driving along the road damages vehicles and at the same time puts people’s lives in danger. It is now a death trap,” said Dube.

Villagers in Deka, Makwa, Mzuna and Chief Hwange area have been making noise about the road at various fora while appealing to authorities to help force Chinese companies operating in the area to rehabilitate it.

Chief Hwange recently said driving along the road was a nightmare.

“This road is bad and driving to my homestead which is only 10km now takes close to an hour and damages cars,” he said.

Last year, two people died at the same bridge after a vehicle they were travelling in veered off the road and fell into a ditch near the bridge after hitting a pothole.