Angela Sibanda, Chronicle Reporter
ACCIDENTS happen without notice and whenever they occur the police or any of the emergency rescue services will not be nearby.
It is a fact that usually local residents are the first to attend to accidents which in some cases could be fatal due to the impact or delayed rescue interventions.
The locals besides offering first aid to survivors, are usually the ones that alert emergency rescue services such as fire and ambulance services. When criminals strike, it is again the local residents who have to confront the villains, effect citizens’ arrest or report the criminals to the police.
Old Magwegwe residents confirmed last Sunday afternoon that locals are the first point of contact when disaster strikes as they saved accident victims who were trapped following a head-on collision involving a BMW car and a pick-up truck near Marisha turn-off along Old Khami Road.
The visibly speeding BMW was coming from the city centre direction when the driver lost control after going past humps opposite Pelandaba Cemetery and collided head-on with the pick-up truck that was coming from the opposite direction at around 3pm, leading to the injury of seven people.
Following the collision, the pick-up truck was thrown off the road while the BMW was tossed up and rolled before landing on its roof resulting in the unidentified driver sustaining serious head injuries together with his passenger.
There was a loud bang as the two vehicles collided and this reporter was among those that witnessed the accident.
Alert residents, who included vendors selling their wares nearby, quickly jumped into action to assessed the situation only to realise the victims were trapped inside the two vehicles.
For close to 30 minutes, the residents battled to rescue the trapped victims and had to use an axe to open the doors.
The driver of the BMW lay unconscious on the road as rescuers rendered first aid to the injured while awaiting the arrival of the ambulances.
The other residents besides comforting the injured, took details of their relatives and contacted them to inform them about the accident.
Among the seven injured, three were school pupils while the other four were two women and two men.
Bulawayo provincial police spokesperson, Inspector Abednico Ncube, commended the Magwegwe community and Bulawayo residents at large for responding positively in times of need.
“We appreciate the services rendered by the community not only in traffic accidents but in all our operations. Police in Bulawayo and the community are working together and this is as it should be,” he said.
“We’ve seen members of the public effecting citizens’ arrest of criminals or participating actively in fighting crime,” said Insp Ncube.
He said what happened in Magwegwe shows members of the public aree not just on-lookers when an accident happens but act to save lives.
“Fortunately, no life was lost in the accident. We commend the work being done by members of the public. By working together we can save lives like what happened in this accident,” said Inp Ncube.
Bulawayo Chief Fire Officer Mr Linos Phiri also commended residents’ response to the distress calls following the accident.
“The only problem is that they always forget to prefix emergency numbers resulting in calls not going through, which then results in delays in responding to emergencies,” said Mr Phiri.
Article Source: The Chronicle