ABOUT 16 patrons were lucky to escape death when an asbestos shed they were sitting under collapsed on them at the council owned-Chinotimba beer hall in Victoria Falls on Sunday morning.
One victim sustained a broken leg while others had minor and facial injuries.
Relating his ordeal, Million Muleya (47), who suffered a broken leg, said he was getting back into the beer hall after visiting the toilet when he saw a person who looked like his friend sitting under the shed and decided to go and check if it was him.
“As I was walking into the shed, suddenly a plank fell down and hit me on the head.
“When I tried to run, nearly all the asbestos sheeting fell on me and I fell down,” he said.
“I cannot remember what happened after, but my drinking mates say I lost consciousness and they rescued me under the asbestos and planks.
“The next thing I remember I was in the hospital bed with a broken leg and bruises all over my body and face. My eye is very painful.”
A 92-year-old victim who only identified himself as Ndebele, who suffered back injuries, said the building was dilapidated and he was not surprised that the asbestos sheeting collapsed.
Ndebele said he had a feeling someone had died as a result of the accident.
“I started working for the Victoria Falls town council when I was a young man,” he said.
“I am one of those who helped in erecting this building in the early 1940s and it has never been maintained. The poles have never been changed and the asbestos were now too old.
“I was seated close to the door that is why I was not seriously injured, but those that were inside couldn’t escape. I was hit at the back and it is painful because I have a deep cut.
“Since the accident occurred, council hasn’t done anything to check whether someone did not die under the rubble because we suspect someone might have been trapped under the huge asbestos pile that still hasn’t been removed.”
The police officer commanding Victoria Falls district Chief Superintendent Jairos Chiwona said they would work with council to check if anyone could have been trapped under the asbestos sheeting.
Meanwhile, a man lost an eye and another man lost three fingers when a Toyota vehicle they were travelling in with two other passengers rolled three times close to the Elephant Hills turn-off.
Elisha Paradzai (52) told Southern Eye from his hospital bed yesterday that he suspected the driver of the car was drunk.
“We suspect the driver was drunk because the car was zigzagging along the road and there were empty beer bottles inside,” he said.
“Just before the accident, he lost control, but luckily managed to immediately stop the car saying he needed a recess.
“Minutes later, he started increasing speed and we told him that we wanted to drop off, but he did not stop. Instead, he increased speed resulting in him losing control.
“The car swung from one end of the road to the other four times, but luckily the road was clear.
“The next moment I woke up here in hospital. I was supposed to be transferred to Bulawayo this afternoon (yesterday) so that they remove the eye because it’s continuously bleeding.”