By Patrick Chitumba
An explosion which rocked Gweru Rural Police Station sending tremors across the Central Business District was allegedly caused by a war time anti-tank mine planted inside the station.
The explosion sent officers at the station, which is situated at the corner of Leopold Takawira road and Eighth Street in Gweru, scurrying for cover.
People in the surrounding buildings went into panic mode as the blast uprooted a huge tree and left several vehicles’ windscreens shattered.
A police source who declined to be named said Zimbabwe National Army Engineers were called to the scene and they concluded the explosion was a result of an anti-tank mine, which could have been planted during the liberation struggle. “They said in their experience, a landmine was the likeliest cause because a big jacaranda tree was uprooted and the blast shook nearby buildings.
“The army guys said heat from a fire could have activated the landmine. They said landmines did not have a life span and could explode even 100 years after being planted.”
A general hand at the station was burning litter in a rubbish pit that is about 30 metres from the Charge Office.
As the general hand was going about his work, there was a sudden explosion that shook buildings, uprooted a tree and destroyed some infrastructure at the station. Fortunately, the worker escaped from the scene unhurt.
Motorists yesterday told The Chronicle fragments from the uprooted tree shattered windscreens on seven cars that were parked along 8th Street.
“The explosion caused ceiling paint at the Charge Office to peel off. Roofing tiles at the Lutheran Church, about 100 metres from the scene, fell inside the church. Luckily no one was injured,” said a police source.
The source said windows shattered at the Heritage Housing Project building along 8th Street, about 50 metres from the blast.
Acting Midlands provincial police spokesperson Assistant Inspector Ethel Mukwende said she was still to receive details of the explosion. The Chronicle.