A truck fire that could possibly have been prevented at the Kasumbalesa Border Post between Zambia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, spread to two other trucks and completely gutted all three.
According to Mike Fitzmaurice of the Federation of East and Southern African Road Transport Associations, Sunday night’s fire at the parking area south of the border happened when an electrical fault on a rig carrying solvent heading northbound, caught alight.
Thankfully there were no fatalities.
He said the fire yet again underscored the necessity of fire-fighting capability at the important Copperbelt crossing where congestion routinely resulted in lengthy border delays.
Fitzmaurice said it was regrettable that, yet again, a trucking incident at the busy border has exposed the incompetence of authorities to deal with road freight incidents and the inadequacy of border personnel to deal with urgent situations.
In 2013 a tanker collision caused a massive blast and a resultant fire in which several people died and 43 trucks were burnt out. Twelve people were severely injured.
Fitzmaurice said it was unfortunate that the border was once more operating with reduced staff numbers.
This is a developing story and will be updated by tomorrow.