Two Bulawayo residents were hit by trains and seriously injured on the same day but in different locations, the National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) has said.
Lady Phiri (42), from Tshabalala suburb, was hit by a passenger train along the track that separates Sizinda suburb and Westgate Complex on 11 March around 4 AM.
The train was travelling from the Bulawayo NRZ main station to Luveve Sideway to pick up commuters bound for the city centre.
Phiri sustained serious head injuries and was ferried to Mpilo Hospital where her condition was said to be serious.
On the same day at around 4.20 AM, a male person was hit by a train in Mpopoma and sent to a hospital.
In the case of Phiri, NRZ acting public relations manager Martin Banda said Reginald Mujakachi, the locomotive engineman, saw her trying to cross the railway line.
Mujakachi sounded the horn, applied emergency brakes, but it was too late as the train hit Phiri.
Phiri was in the company of her brother Sibongile Masuku, who had safely crossed the railway line.
Banda expressed concern over the increasing number of people being hit by trains along the rail. He said:
The National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) has observed with concern, the disturbing and increasing incidences of people being hit by trains, as well as suicide cases along the railway system countrywide in recent weeks and months.
It is saddening to note that the incidents continue to occur at undesignated rail level crossings, despite the fact that all pedestrians, cyclists, drivers of both light and heavy vehicles are aware of the need to exercise extreme caution, whenever they are approaching railway lines.
Let us all act and be responsible when near the railway lines as responsible citizens, it is also pertinent to mention that train drivers always hoot when they suspect a person to be very close to the track and in general from a distance of about 1km and also 20 metres, before approaching all rail level crossings, as a warning to pedestrians, cyclists, motorists and heavy transport drivers as well as public transport drivers to stop or move away from the train path.
As an organisation, we are saddened by these incidents and wish the injured a speedy recovery while we mourn with those who lost their loved ones.