Farmers in Kasungu district have lost 151 bales of tobacco after the bales were burnt to ashes when a truck transporting the green gold to auction floors caught fire.
According to Deputy Public relations Officer for Kasungu Harry Namwaza, the incident occurred on 18 August when fire erupted from a binding fault of the Scania Truck registration number BR 5516 which was being driven by 34 year-old Gabriel Mkwinda.
He said the tobacco belonged to various farmers contracted to Limbe Leaf Tobacco and was expected to be delivered at Chinkhoma Auction Floors in Kasungu district.
But when the truck reached Estate 81 turn off, the vehicle developed a binding fault that caused fire sparks. When the sparks came into contact with some bales of tobacco, a huge fire erupted which gutted all bales of tobacco on board.
Efforts to put out the fire off did not work out but villagers managed to throw the burning bales off the truck in order to save the vehicle.
Meanwhile, the value of the tobacco and the number of farmers affected by the accident are yet to be known.