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Men escape death as 3 cattle drown

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TWO men in their early 20s escaped death by a whisker, but three of the cattle they were transporting drowned and one was rescued when a Nissan Atlas truck vehicle they were travelling in veered off the narrow Mtshabezi Bridge and plunged into the river.

Albert Ncube
Own Correspondent

The incident occurred 2km outside Gwanda town along Blanket Mine Road at midday on Monday, as they were ferrying the beasts into town.

Fanuel Sibindi, who was a passenger, said the driver — identified only as Sabelo — lost control of the vehicle as it approached the bridge, resulting in the accident.

“The driver lost control of the vehicle and in a moment of fear grabbed me as the vehicle plunged into the river,” he said.

“I managed to break the window of the vehicle before coming out.

“Sabelo only managed to come out after a few minutes and was rushed to hospital, where he is admitted.”

Scores of motorists were delayed by up to an hour, as firemen tried to remove the trapped animals from the vehicle. The river is superstitiously believed to possess mermaids.

Two men who witnessed the accident, claimed to have seen one before the accident occurred, adding that a boy on a bicycle had fallen into the river moments before the truck plunged in.

Widespread calls to have the bridge rehabilitated have fallen on deaf ears as each year accidents occur.

However, Gwanda mayor Knowledge Ndlovu, who was at the scene, said efforts were underway to have the bridge reconstructed.

“A delegation from the Transport ministry was here recently to look into the issue of rehabilitating the bridge as it is a death trap in its current state,” he said.

Last year, motorists on several occasions were delayed as the bridge overflowed leaving people stuck on either side of the road.

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