Lusaka commuters in close shave

Commuters on a Matero-bound minibus on Saturday survived what could have been a nasty accident after a flying rock from a construction blast site hit the vehicle’s side mirror, almost causing the driver to lose control of the bus.

The incident, which occurred around 09.00 hours, temporarily disrupted traffic at Board and Timber area after a palm-size rock flew across the road from the AMG Steel Manufacturers construction site to Lumumba Road.

According to an eye-witness Pascal Miyoba, when the rock hit the minibus registration number ALE 7876 side mirror, the driver panicked and almost hit into another vehicle.

“There was an explosion and a cloud of dust from the construction site at AMG and within seconds we heard a bang that sounded like a tyre burst but in fact it was a rock that had hit the door of the minibus and broke the driver’s side mirror,

“We were lucky the rock did not come through the driver’s window otherwise it would have been a very bad accident,” said Mr Miyoba.

The driver, only identified as Mubanga, was by press time locked in a meeting with AMG management on how to repair the damage to the bus caused by the flying rock.

And National Empowerment Forum (NEF) executive director Edgar Siakachoma said some contractors have exhibited total negligence in adhering to the basic safety measures at construction sites.

Mr Siakachoma said some contractors did not take precautions at their worksites as prescribed under the National Council for Construction (NCC) regulations, thus putting lives of workers and other people in danger.

“That contractor is very lucky not to have been reported to the NCC because that is one of the basic minimum requirements under the safety, health and environment section acquiring certification and they would have been penalized for that incident.

“Some contractors deliberately ignore safety procedures despite being provided for financially in the tender document as per law,” he said.

He explained that under the preliminaries and general provisions, such safety measures were always captured in the tender documents to ensure safety of the workers and other people around the site.

Mr Siakachoma has called on the contractors to adhere to the safety measures as prescribed in the law, including third party insurance for damage caused outside the construction sites to safeguard and protect life and property in case of such accidents.

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