Following the incident in which an old and large mahogany tree (M’mbawa) fell on minibuses that damaged some of the minibuses and injured dozens of people at Mibawa minibus terminal in the commercial capital of Blantyre on Wednesday morning, people on social media condemned the Blantyre City Council of lacking the capacity to carry out rapid and effective rescue operation.
This came about after people posted on the social media that it took over two hours to rescue a driver who was trapped at his seat of his worst hit minibus, saying it seemed the City Council’s Fire Brigade lacked the proper capacity to rapidly carry out a rescue operation of that sort that it was the general public that were more of great assistance.
It is reported that it took so long to extricate the trapped driver because there was no electric saw to cut off the tree huge trunk since the Fire Brigade did not have the right equipment for the job.
But the City Council’s Public Relation Officer Anthony Kasunda, says they have the proper measures to handle any emergency accident that happens in the city to make sure that people are secured.
“The City Council Fire Brigade has capacity to handle any emergencies happening in our City,” he said. “Our team rushed to the scene of accident to rescue the victims.
On the public opinion that the Mibawa trees might be too old and can easily be succumbing to storms since the earth is too soft following the heavy rains the City has been experiencing Kasunda said: “The accidents of this kind have never happened for the past 20 years, because the Council has been managing the trees that can endanger the lives and properties.
“Every year, the Council identifies trees that are old and are hazardous to human life and property to be cut down and replace them with the new ones, but as we all know that cannot be every day exercise and accidents can happen any time especially the rainy season. The exercise is still in the progress to identify the old trees and have them trimmed.”
Usually the City Council hires out people to trim trees alongside the streets, begging the question if the Council doesn’t have that capacity to do so but Kasunda says they have the full capacity to trim the trees when there is a need to do so.
“There are a number of things that are taken into consideration when conducting such exercise like consideration of the environment and safety of lives and properties.
Meanwhile, Malawi Police disputed some social media speculation that some people died during the incident but just that a number of people were injured.
Blantyre Police Station Andrew Mayawo told Nyasa Times that victims were taken to Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital for treatment while the hospital’s Administrator Themba Mhango said only the driver of the worst hit minibus was hospitalised as other victims were treated as outpatientsFollow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :