Aid delivery truck accidentally kills two cyclone survivors in Zimbabwe

The vehicle lost brakes while travelling on a steep gradient. There were people sitting on the sides of the road
A picture taken on March 18, 2019, shows villagers receiving food handouts during search and rescue operations in the wake of devastating floods and mudslides caused when Cyclone Idai struck Zimbabwe in Chimanimani, Manicaland Province. – A cyclone that ripped across Mozambique and Zimbabwe has killed at least 162 people with scores more missing. Cyclone Idai tore into the centre of Mozambique on the night of March 14 before barreling on to neighbouring Zimbabwe, bringing flash floods and ferocious winds, and washing away roads and houses. (Photo by Jekesai NJIKIZANA / AFP)

Two survivors of cyclone Idai died and 11 were hurt when the brakes failed on an army truck delivering food aid in eastern Zimbabwe and it ploughed into a waiting crowd, an official said Friday.

Defence forces provincial spokesman Major Exavier Chibasa told AFP the accident happened at Skyline in the district of cyclone-ravaged Chimanimani on Thursday where victims of the cyclone were gathering to receive aid.

“The vehicle lost brakes while travelling on a steep gradient. There were people sitting on the sides of the road,” Chibasa said.

“Unfortunately two of them fell victim and lost their lives. About 11 others were injured but not seriously.”

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The army is helping with the transporting and handing out food and other relief aid donated to victims of Cyclone Idai.

The storm affected at least 270,000 and claimed 185 lives in landlocked Zimbabwe while more than 200 are missing. The UN migration agency IOM however put the Zimbabwe death toll at 259.

In neighbouring Mozambique at least 493 people died and 1.85 million were affected. 

The heavy downpour which led to floods and landslides damaged hundreds of homes, roads and bridges in the Chimanimani and Chipinge districts.

One school lost 30 pupils and several staff members while a local church lost a quarter of its congregation to the cyclone.

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