HUYE - Residents in Gatobotobo cell, Mbazi sector, were left in shock after a Tanzanian truck driver was burnt alive following a road accident he was involved in.
At around 8.30 am on Thursday, a Tanzanian registered petrol tanker, number T155BKL, lost control and swerved off the road, bursting in flames.
The accident happened about 3 km from Huye town, at a corner known as ‘Ku mukobwa mwiza’. The corner is notorious for its numerous accidents, mainly involving trucks.
Issa Hussein, 55, the driver of the tanker, was burnt in the truck, while Iddy Asman, 18, the co-driver, survived the accident.
A doctor at the Butare University Teaching Hospital told The New Times, however, that Asman was left with trauma.
A huge crowd of people watched helplessly as the fire engulfed the tanker with the driver trapped inside.
Huge black plume of smoke was seen in the area until around 10.30 am. A nearby forest was partly destroyed and crops in the nearby Nyamugali swamps were affected too.
An eye witness, Raymond Nsabimana, a cyclist, said the truck was moving slow.
“The driver was driving slowly. I rode past him and then I heard a bang. The truck immediately caught fire”, Nsabimana narrated.
“It is becoming a habit that trucks overturn here.”
Residents blamed the accidents on the nature of the corner, saying it misleads drivers, letting them believe that there is no corner.
Police also said the cause of the accident was yet to be known.
The officer in-charge of Infrastructure in Huye, Jean Marie Munyanziza, observed that the district is working with the Ministry of Infrastructure to conduct a study which will determine whether or not the accidents at the ‘Ku mukobwa mwiza’ bend are due to the bad corner.
“We have so far installed road signs warning drivers about the dangers ahead of the corner. We are waiting to see whether the number of accidents will decrease or not. If the result is negative, we shall proceed with a study to help us take appropriate measures,” Munyanziza added.