The damage estimated to run into millions of Pula
Kazungula police are investigating two rare and bizarre accidents in which two trucks sank into the Zambezi River as they attempted to board the Kazungula ferry on Saturday and Monday respectively.
According to Kazungula Police Station Commander Superintendent Paul Chaluza, in the first incident on Saturday, a truck carrying building material from South Africa to Zambia slid off the pontoon and fell into the Zambezi River.
“The surface is sloping and slippery, and from what we’ve learnt, the truck never made it fully onto the ferry before it slid into the river.
Fortunately, the drivers managed to quickly jump out of the cabin and onto the ferry before the trucks were fully submerged,” said Chaluza.
The Station Commander further revealed that no one was hurt in the accident.
“The truck was also successfully pulled out of the river the same day,” he said.
However, just two days later on Monday afternoon, another truck hauling salt from South Africa to Zambia suffered the same fate, as the trailer head slid-off the pontoon into the river, carrying with it tons of salt.
“Just like in the Saturday incident, the driver managed to escape unharmed,” Chaluza told The Voice.
He further said the cause of the accident is not conclusive and their investigations continue.
“We can’t say accidents were due to human error, the cause could be mechanical, and as I told you, the area is sloping and slippery. We can only be certain after the completion of our investigations,” he said.
The costs of the damage are yet to be compounded, but it is estimated to run into millions of Pula.
The Kazungula top cop however said the incidents of sinking tricks are rare in his jurisdiction.
“These are isolated incidents. It does happen but not in quick succession like we experienced this week,” he said.
Estimated to have started operating in Botswana in the mid-60s, the pontoon’s days as a reliable mode of transport are numbered with the new impressive Kazungula Bridge due to open for business on 1st of December.