NINE Children are feared dead after a dugout canoe in which they were travelling capsized on Kafue River in Mpongwe district on Friday.
Copperbelt police commanding officer Martin Malama confirmed the accident which occurred in Chief Machiya’s area in Mpongwe.
Dr Malama said the canoe was being paddled by a 14-year-old boy who is the only survivor.
He said the children were following their parents who had gone to Chief Machiya’s palace.
“I would like to confirm an accident in which nine children aged between two and 11 years are feared dead after the dugout canoe capsized as they were crossing the Kafue River,” Dr Malama said.
He named the victims as Milina Mukwemba, 7, Sylvia Kabwe, 11, Peggy Kabwe, 8, Christine Kabwe, 6, Stella Kabwe, 2, Yvonne Kasensa, 10, Miniver Kasensa, 7, Falesi Kasensa, 3, and Webby Kasensa aged 6.
Dr Malama said only the body of Stella Kabwe has been retrieved.
He said the paddler of the canoe was the only survivor.
“The other eight bodies are still missing,” Dr Malama said.
Meanwhile, CHIMWEMWE MWALE reports that the death toll in Friday’s bus accident in Chilanga has risen from six to seven.
And four of the bodies of the accident victims have been identified at the University Teaching Hospital (UTH) mortuary.
Both Zambia Police Service spokesperson Ndandula Siamana and UTH public relations manager Pauline Mbangweta confirmed the development in separate interviews in Lusaka yesterday.
Six people died on the spot on Friday while 39 others sustained injuries when a 76-sitter bus they were travelling in overturned near Chilanga Main Bus station.
The accident happened around 19:00 hours when the bus hit a tipper truck.
Ms Siamana said those whose bodies have been identified are Mercy Muzuha, Joy Gili, Agness Palaza and Lydia Haluperi, all of unknown addresses and ages.
She said the only accident victim admitted to the UTH intensive care unit (ICU) has been identified as Anna Mudume, 41.
Ms Siamana said the driver of the bus is still on the run and police have launched a manhunt for him.
“He (driver) was not at the accident scene and could probably be still on the run and normally we automatically launch a manhunt although in most cases the drivers eventually hand themselves to the police because usually it is just confusion that occurs in them at the scene,” Ms Siamana said.
And Ms Mbangweta said the latest victim died on the operating table.
She said most of the accident victims are Zimbabweans.
“We received six brought in dead (BID) and unfortunately we lost one just when she was being operated on just after being rushed to the theatre. Among the fifteen admitted, 10 are females while five are males. We received 67 and we have discharged 50 after they were checked,” Ms Mbangweta said.
And KAPALA CHISUNKA reports that a fire yesterday destroyed property worth millions of Kwacha at the Kobil lubricant warehouse in Lusaka on Malambo road.
The fire is said to have started slightly after 16:30 hours and the fire brigade was called when initial efforts to quench it using on-site fire-fighting equipment failed.
The Lusaka City Council fire-fighters sought help from the Airport Fire Brigade to help put out the raging fire, but by 18:30 hours last night the fire was yet to be brought under control.
According to eye witnesses, only a security officer was at the premises when the fire started.
“Lusaka City Council fire fighters who were immediately notified by management arrived at the scene around 17: 00hours but failed to quench the fire as they ran out of water,” one source said.
By the time reinforcements were arriving, most of the building was gutted while the company managers and employees watched helplessly.
[Zambia Daily Mail]