Sandra Tekere and Amanda Ncube, Sunday News Reporter
FOUR people were injured when the walk way roof of a building housing Nando’s fastfood outlet in Bulawayo collapsed on them yesterday afternoon.
Last night, there were unconfirmed reports that one of the injured later succumbed to the injuries at a local hospital. The incident happened at about 4pm. Pedestrians who were passing by the building were injured while customers inside were not injured but were only left scurrying for cover. Two cars that were parked adjacent to the building were extensively damaged.
Bulawayo chief fire officer Richard Peterson confirmed the incident. He said four people who were walking on the pavement were injured and were immediately taken to hospital. He could not be drawn into giving more details saying he was not sure of what really caused part of the building to collapse. However, it is suspected that the building gave in due to heavy rains experienced in the city in recent days.
“Our Famona Fire Brigade received a call at around 4pm from our call centre advising of a collapse of a building. As we arrived we found that four people were injured. Some sustained fractures while some had head injuries after the free standing parapet collapsed. As of now we are not sure whether it’s the age of the building or something else,” he said.
Simbisa Brands and Nando’s Zimbabwe, in a statement last night, said investigations on the incident were underway, adding that they rented the premises.
“We advise that since the investigations are at a preliminary stage, the Nando’s store has been closed until the investigations are completed . . . The company has taken immediate steps to assist the injured and is grateful to the swift and dedicated response received from the medical, fire and police services in Bulawayo.”
A witness identified as Mr Mthokozisi Moyo said he was standing opposite Nando’s when the incident happened. He said he heard a loud crash and suddenly everyone was screaming while some were running away.
“This is an old herigate building and some of its features cannot be changed. I guess it is from such features that cracks started ,” said a source.