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Alba Iulia
Saturday, October 16, 2021

Tragedy in Zambia – AC Virgin players drown

Sports Tragedy in Zambia - AC Virgin players drown

Police in Nchelenge district in Zambia’s Luapula province have retrieved more bodies from a river where more than 20 people from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) drowned in an accident on Sunday, the Times of Zambia reported on Thursday.

More than 20 people died on Sunday evening after their three boats capsized on the Zambian side of the river after they were hit by waves from a speed boat that was coming from the DRC side of the river.

Twenty players from DR Congo club AC Virgin KA drowned in Luapula River in Zambia on their way from a weekend fixture.

Luapula Province Deputy Commissioner of Police said the police have retrieved three more bodies bringing the total number of bodies retrieved since the operation started to 15.

He said the Congolese players and their fans were returning from a match against a Zambian team on Sunday when their three boats capsized in the town’s most popular river.

“Their boats capsized in the middle of Luapula River after being hit by a strong wave generated by another passing boat,” Mushanga said.

“The ill-fated boats carried a total of over 100 people, but 80 of them were rescued by the crew while at least 20 perished,” he added.

The Deputy Commissioner of Police said 14 bodies had been identified to be Congolese while one was a Zambian and that police discovered that the boats were also carrying five Zambians.

As at Tuesday, locals were working to pull out the remains of the boats while municipal police identified other bodies. FIFA president Sepp Blatter has sent condolences to the Congo football federation. “On behalf of FIFA and on my own behalf, I extend to you and to the Congo football federation my deepest condolences,” Blatter wrote in a message to Constant Omari Selemani, president of the FECOFA.

The boats, carrying more than 100 people, carried footballers and spectators who had come for a football match on the Zambian side when the incident happened. About 72 people survived the accident and DRC officials sent a bigger boat to carrying the survivors back to their country.



  1. Sad; but am not surprised. Safety systems are always ignored in that part of the world. When you are seen with a life jacket; they laugh at you as “chamwenso”; My early professional life involved a project on the Islands (Kilwa); and i always used to have two life jackets to their surprise.

  2. We must establish passenger boat standard in order to ensure public safety of the travellers. This is an example of a poor management by transport authorities.

  3. I hear there was a road accident in the same district where about 15 people died on Thursday morning. Really sad. MTSRIP

  4. What pathetic boats were they using to be capsized by waves of a passing boat?? In my books the boats were not safe, the one who decided that they use such boats should be responsible. MTSRIP

  5. This is common occurance in luapula… boats ferring players/people across this dangerous waters.. I once jumped on one..We had to negotiate a group of hippos with a boat fully packed…the boat was leaking all the way so one boy had to continously remove water from the boat… like #3 said satefy is always ignored, no safety jackets and no rules regarding manovours from other passing ‘ships’… M-Thier-Sours -RP..

  6. May their souls rest in peace. I blame the speed boat operator, he could have slowed down to give courtesy to other water users

  7. GRZ should introduce marine traffic rules in Zambia. Just like we have on land surface. Life jackets should be mandatory. Life is priceless, better spend whatever on a life jacket than lose a soul.

  8. This is terrible. So many boat tragedies in Congo. Who builds these boats sure! Problem with congolese is all they want to do is dance ifyansele! Do they even have engineers?

  9. I personally cant travel on a boat, speed boat or anykind of water trasportation because its so dangerious and i dont know how to swim in case of a tragedy like this. may their souls rest in peace.

    • Awe bwana, water transportation is very safe actually; except there are areas where such things as “risk assessments” are not permitted because they dont exist. Actually, many deaths can be avoided if villagers can be educated on the dangers of the lake, especially where it enters and leaves lake mweru. its mighty!!

  10. This is bad. Sepp Blatter, buy a bigger boat for this team. They love Soccer and because of soccer, they perished. Do not behave the way u did with Zambia. U never came to mourn. Up to today, u nevr gave out money to the families. if it was Man Utd or Barcelona u would have camped pa Chililo till burial. Foolish FIFA Chief!!!!!

  11. From the little experience i have had in Mongu, it is an established principle that speed boats should slow down when approaching waters carrying either banana boats or smaller engine- powered boats. The driver of the speed boat should be charged with first degree murder and gross negligence.

  12. #21 Numbian Princess is really fun, how can you insult people at a funeral-house?
    DRCongo will win next Africa cup, ask Zambia, they went through such tragedy.

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