Zimbabwe Catholic priests survive train accident

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TWO Roman Catholic priests stationed at Don Bosco Technical College just outside Hwange escaped death when a vehicle they were travelling in was hit by a goods train and dragged for about 50 metres in the coal-mining town.

The accident occurred on Monday afternoon at a rail crossing after Empumalanga turn-off.

Matabeleland North police spokesperson Chief Inspector Siphiwe Makonese confirmed the accident.

Makonese said the train was being driven by Mr Lewis Sibanda (41) who is employed by the National Railways of Zimbabwe and was going towards Dete from Hwange.

The priests Fr Bruno Zamberlan (77) and Fr Simbarashe Muza are members of the Salatians of Don Bosco.

When they accident occurred, they were driving towards Hwange town from Don Bosco Technical College.

Fr Bruno, who was driving the vehicle, is the director of Don Bosco while Fr Simba is the principal and rector.

“I can confirm that we received a report of an accident involving a motor vehicle and a goods train. We want to urge motorists to be cautious and observe traffic regulations when driving,” Chief Inspector Siphiwe Makonese said.

Fr Bruno was rushed to St Patrick’s Hospital with injuries on the arm and head while Fr Simba did not sustain any injuries, according to police.

“On the 18th day of May at around 2.50PM, Lewis Sibanda was driving a goods train towards Dete on the Bulawayo-Victoria Falls railway line while Fr Bruno was driving a Toyota Hilux towards Hwange town.

“On approaching a railroad crossing, the vehicle was hit by a train on the driver’s side and dragged for about 50 metres before the train stopped,” explained Chief Inspector Makonese.

Police attended the accident scene.