A Zambia-bound truck that was carrying 35 tonnes of sulphur overturned and caught fire at the 311km peg along the Harare-Chirundu Highway, near Tsetse checkpoint in Hurungwe District, triggering land and air pollution.
The horse and first trailer belonging to Top Hisheen Company were burnt to shells in the incident.
Preliminary investigations by the Environmental Management Agency (EMA) indicate that the truck was travelling outside the stipulated times, and failed to report the incident.
According to EMA, transporters of potentially hazardous substances or minerals that can pollute the environment should travel between 4 am and 8 pm.
Noone was killed in the accident but besides the fire which engulfed the scene, plumes of toxic smoke containing sulphur compounds travelled as far as Chirundu Border Post. EMA said:
The Environmental Management Agency is working closely with the transporter (Top Hisheen) to extinguish the fire and commence the spillage clean-up exercise.
Section 73 of the Environmental Management Act prohibits the discharge of hazardous substances into the environment and places the responsibility of rehabilitating and restoring the affected area on the polluter.
Our preliminary investigations indicate that the truck was travelling outside the stipulated times, and failed to report the incident to the Agency within the shortest period of time as required.
Timely reporting of spillages ensures swift response to minimise environmental pollution as well as start rescue efforts