A CROSS-BORDER bus belonging to City Bus was reduced to a shell when it went up in flames yesterday near the Gweru-Bulawayo Zinara tollgate.

By Brenna Matendere

On board were about 40 passengers who all escaped unhurt, but goods worth thousands of dollars was destroyed.

The bus was on its way from Botswana to Harare.

Passengers told NewsDay at the scene that the incident happened just after midday and members of the military who were travelling behind the bus saved some goods.

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“The driver applied emergency brakes and we noticed some flames emerging from the bus. We all then disembarked in a scramble fearing for our lives. Some soldiers who were driving in the same direction stopped and braved the fire to rescue some goods that were in the trailer, but most of the items could not be saved,” a passenger, Patience Moyo said.

City Bus operations manager, Juliet Bokosha confirmed the incident.

“No one died and all people escaped unhurt. I can, however, confirm that our bus caught fire near Gweru and it was consumed by the fire. I am currently travelling and so I may not be able to give you more details at this stage,” she said.

Another passenger, Tsunga Nyoni, said: “Before the driver stopped the bus, the left rear wheel was showing signs that it was binding. But just as the bus stopped, fire started and we all disembarked. We watched helplessly as the bus and our goods were consumed by the fire.”

Midlands police spokesperson Inspector Joel Goko was not reachable for comment last