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West Nicholson accident: Survivors relive the horror

Survivors of the West Nicholson bus accident that claimed the lives of 42 people last night are yet to come to terms with what happened describing their escape as miraculous.

What was supposed to be a normal shopping trip to Musina in South Africa turned into a nightmare for about 70 passengers aboard Brooklyn Express when it went up in flames near Jonsley farm in West Nicholson

What was supposed to be a normal shopping trip to Musina in South Africa turned into a nightmare for about 70 passengers aboard Brooklyn Express when it went up in flames near Jonsley farm in West Nicholson Thursday night.

In a flash, passengers were trapped in the burning bus and in the horror that followed, 42 were burnt to ashes.

Some however managed to escape.

“There was smell in the bus which I believe was coming from a gas cylinder or something, then the moment the lights were switched on to try and establish the source of the smell, that is when that fire engulfed the bus,”  said one survivor.

Forty-two people are feared dead while 27 others sustained various degrees of injuries when a Brooklyn Express bus burst into flames about 10 kilometres out of West Nicholson Thursday night.
Forty-two people are feared dead while 27 others sustained various degrees of injuries when a Brooklyn Express bus burst into flames about 10 kilometres out of West Nicholson Thursday night.

“I managed to break one of the windows at the back of the bus and jumped out of the window, while others used the door to get away from the raging fire,” said Ms Ntombizodwa Ndlovu.

Some relatives of the victims who were at the scene of the accident shared emotions of grief and for some regret.

For Mr Lazarus Phiri of Filabusi, had he not sent his wife to Mussina for shopping, maybe the mother of his four young children would still be alive today.

Forty-two people are feared dead while 27 others sustained various degrees of injuries when a Brooklyn Express bus burst into flames about 10 kilometres out of West Nicholson Thursday night.

“My wife left last night to go to Mussina, then the next thing I heard that the bus she was in had been involved in an accident. I am really sad that my wife had to die this way, I don’t know how am going to tell my last born who is in Grade Zero B that her mother is not coming back,” said Mr Phiri.

Those being treated at the hospital for injuries are in a stable condition, according to the Acting Medical Superintendent Dr Rutendo Mayathi.

The accident comes at a time the country is yet to come to terms with the Rusape Bus Disaster that plunged the country into mourning barely a week ago. ZBC