Runaway lorry crash at new Beitbridge border bus terminal
The Zimborders consortium, which is transforming the US$300 million Beitbridge border post in partnership with the government, is working to improve public safety in the country’s busiest inland port.
This follows an incident on Thursday night when the brakes on a transport lorry bound for Pretoria failed, causing it to crash into the bus station. The truck was carrying 26 tons of granite stone.
The truck driver was processing his travel documents around 7 p.m. when the incident occurred.
No one was hurt.
The managing director of the Zimborders consortium, Mr Nqobile Ncube, said they were now assessing the damage to the infrastructure.
“We are still assessing property damage and at the same time working on improving public safety issues to ensure such incidents do not happen again,” he said.
“The vehicle has been towed to the Vehicle Inspection Department (VID) for evaluation pending further recommendations.”
The visibly shaken driver, Mr Genias Munetsi, said he was traveling from Mutawatawa, Mashonaland East to Pretoria, South Africa.
He said he did not encounter any mechanical failure on the vehicle between Mutawatawa and the Beitbridge border post.
Mr Munetsi said he parked the vehicle in the southbound commercial parking lot when he went to have his travel documents processed.
“When I arrived at the border, I parked the vehicle facing east, as usual with the handbrake on, and continued to process my travel documents in the cargo terminal,” did he declare.
“On the way back, I heard noise in the crowd and rushed to check.
“I was in shock when I found out it was my truck that had rolled from the cargo terminal to the bus terminal. My fear was that it might have hurt or killed someone. I calmed down only after the customs agent indicated that no one had been injured or killed”.
Mr Munetsi said he then went to his truck and hired the authorities who then towed him to the VID site.
When our news crew arrived at the border, workers from the Zimborders Consortium were busy repairing one of the traffic control barriers that had been badly damaged.
Part of the parking area at the bus station was partially damaged and officials from the Environment Management Agency were working to clean up oil spills from the truck.
The fence separating the car park from the freight and bus terminals had been damaged.
The Beitbridge border post is being transformed into a 17.5 year public-private partnership (PPP) between the Zimborders and the government.
The project is being carried out in three phases which include the cargo, bus and light vehicle terminal.
So far, the cargo and bus terminals have been opened and commissioned by President Mnangagwa while the construction of the light vehicle terminal is underway and will open to traffic in December.
The modernization initiative also includes five major off-port works which include a fire station, sewer oxidation dam, 220 staff quarters, animal plant and quarantine facility and an 11.4 mega reservoir. liters.
All of these are in various stages of construction.