Six people are reportedly injured after a mahogany tree fell on nine minibuses at Mibawa Bus Depot in Blantyre on Wednesday.
The heavy rains that poured in the city on the day uprooted the tree, leading to the accident.
The incident happened around 2 o’clock in the afternoon while the minibuses were parked at the depot.
By the time The Daily Times crew reached the scene of the accident, a huge crowd had already gathered trying to rescue the driver and the conductor that were trapped in one of the minibuses that were crushed by the tree.
Traffic police officers, the fire brigade and businesspeople from the Blantyre Market as well as the passers-by were seen cutting the tree into pieces before rescuing the two.
Spokesperson for Blantyre Police Station, Andrew Mayawo, confirmed that three men and three women sustained injuries.
“As you can see, 9 buses have been damaged and in these buses were passengers that have been injured. One man has sustained a deep cut in the head. The driver that was trapped did not sustain serious injuries but he complains that he is not feeling fine,” Mayawo said.
National Secretary of the Minibus Owners Association of Malawi ( Moam) Coxley Kamange said he had been asking the Blantyre City Council to prune the trees but nothing was done.
“We also appeal to our government to equip the [Blantyre] City Council with resources so that they can respond in good time in situations like these. Imagine it took them an hour to come to our rescue whilst people were still trapped inside. When they get a call, they should respond quickly, otherwise we will be losing lives,” Kamange said.
Spokesperson of Blantyre City Council Anthony Kasunda said when the council started to cut the trees in the city, people pointed fingers at them blaming them for the initiative.
“As a council, we started cutting down trees but you can agree with me we were blamed for the move. Now an accident has happened, the same people are coming back saying we should cut down the trees, this is not fair,” Kasunda said.
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