It was Christmas Eve, and Sirizani Butau was driving his truck on the Harare-Mutare Highway in Zimbabwe.
When traffic slowed to a crawl, he realized there was an accident ahead. Drawing closer, he saw that a bus had collided with a fuel tanker, and the bus was on fire. More than 60 people were trapped inside the bus when the accident occurred, so without a thought for his own safety, Sirizani leapt from his truck and rushed into the inferno.
He was one of the first people on the scene, so he knew the passengers trapped inside needed his help. Without a moment to lose, he ran into the bus and started pulling out victims. By the time authorities arrived, he’d single-handedly rescued eight people from the blaze!
Bystanders captured images of Sirizani moments after the police arrived. You can see the bus still burning in the background, and he’s covered in painful third-degree burns.
Sirizani was taken to Kadoma hospital to be treated for his wounds. When word about his heroics got out, people all over Zimbabwe praised him for risking his life to save people he didn’t even know.
A spokesperson for President Emmerson Mnangagwa even stated, “The President recognizes Cde Butau for heroically putting his own life at risk to save traffic accident victims who could have been burnt in a conflagration when a bus and a fuel tanker collided. He promised national recognition.”
People from all over the world have sent donations to aid in Sirizani’s recovery. A philanthropist who goes by “TheGiver” even sent him $250,000! “If it encourages others to consider putting a hand and helping this hero out, who now because of his injuries might be unable to provide for his family, you can share my donation with the public, it is your call,” he said.
Sirizani’s brother said he’s recovering well and is overwhelmed by the outpouring of kindness and generosity he has received. We’d say he deserves all of this recognition — and then some! What a brave, selfless act. We shudder to think what would have happened if Sirizani hadn’t been driving his truck that day.
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