Conrad Mupesa Mashonaland West Bureau
A CHINHOYI couple lost a five-year-old child when a neighbour’s galvanised steel stand gave in to the weight of a loaded 5 000 litre water-tank and fell on the two-roomed cottage that they rented from around 4am today. (Friday)
The tragic incident also led to the couple and their nine-year-old child sustaining serious injuries and are currently battling for life at Chinhoyi Provincial Hospital.
The incident occurred at house number 11919 in Rujeko high-density suburb.
The deceased, Tendai Matumba (5) was pronounced dead upon arrival at the same hospital.
Tendai’s brother Tatenda (9), was said to be in a critical condition while the mother injured her right leg, hand and also received four stitches to one of her ears.
The father, Peter Matumba (30)’s injuries were also said to be severe.
The couple’s landlord, Sibisisiwe Nyamachewa said she was awakened by a loud bang and screams of the family wallowing in pain and asking for help.
“It was around 4am when I heard a loud bang followed by cries of a woman asking for help.
“I realised something was terribly wrong but I was shocked by what I saw.
“When I got out out of (the main house), I realised that the 5000-litre-water tank had fallen on the cottage while neighbours were busy rendering help to the family.
“They had managed to retrieve Tendai and were busy trying to give her help. I rushed through the rubble and assisted Tatenda while help was also being rendered to the father,” she said.
The fully loaded tank destroyed the room in which the couple and their two children were sleeping in.
When The Herald visited the house, bricks and pieces of asbestos from the destroyed room told the horrific story that the family went through.
Another witness Ms Colleta Dhiori who assisted the family said although people rushed the family to the hospital including the deceased, it was clear that the young girl was already dead before they left the house.
She said Tendai was badly injured on her head and had multiple fractures.
“We rushed her to the hospital but there were no signs of life,” said Ms Dhiori.
She said the other members of the family were in a stable condition although the mother complained of l excruciating pains on the right hand and leg.
Provincial police spokesperson, Inspector Margaret Chitove said efforts to ascertain the real cause of the accident were underway.
Makonde development coordinator and Civil Protection Unit district chairperson, Mr Benjamin Zivanai said the incident was unfortunate.
“This is an unfortunate incident and we want the local authority to monitor and approve the installation of water tanks to avoid loss of life,” Mr Zivanai said.
Mrs Madhishi, the neighbour whose water tank brought misery to Matumba’s family, refused to speak to the media.
Her son, Simbarashe said the tank was installed in May last year and its mounting never showed any signs of weakness.