FIFTEEN people are feared dead after a light canter truck was hit by a train in Kafue last evening less than 24 hours after 19 people died in a road clash in Mazabuka on Monday morning.
Zambia Police spokesperson Charity Chanda confirmed in a post on social media that five people died on the spot but witnesses say more bodies were retrieved at the scene.
“Five people have died, 14 seriously injured while three sustained minor injuries in an accident which happened between 1830 hours and 1900 hours at the rail crossing in Kafue.
Among the seriously injured is a thief who tried to steal from the scene of accident,” Ms Chanda said.
According to eye witnesses, the light truck overtook other vehicles on the rail crossing that were waiting for the train to pass. The driver failed to stop after discovering that the train had already reached the road crossing point. The truck was hit in the trailor and dragged leaving many people and their animals likes goats seriously injured and others dead.
Early in the day 19 people died when the Fuso Fighter truck they were travelling in rammed into the Shoprite building in Mazabuka.
Among the dead are 10 men, six women and three children of various ages.
Southern Province police chief Mary Chikwanda confirmed the accident which happened around 01:00 hours yesterday.
Ms Chikwanda said in an interview that the truck, registration number ACT 2439, was being driven by Kabaso Mwenya from Lusaka heading to a fishing camp in Monze area.
Mr Mwenya is among the people that died on the spot, while some bodies of the victims were mangled.
According to witnesses, the vehicle was loaded with fridges, mealie meal and other goods which passengers, mostly fish mongers, use in their fish business.
The witnesses also disclosed that some money was discovered tied in a plastic bag at the scene of the accident.
Ms Chikwanda said the driver, whose wife also perished is believed to have been speeding resulting in him failing to negotiate a corner and hit into the building.
Part of the building has been razed due to the impact.
“The accident happened around 01:00 hours and several people died among them 10 men, six women and three children,” Ms Chikwanda said.
Ms Chikwanda further said that about five people sustained serious injuries, mainly broken bones, and were admitted to Mazabuka General Hospital.
Some of the bodies of the victims have been identified, while others were still waiting to be identified.
She appealed to members of the public to help the police and hospital authorities to identify the bodies.
The 23 passengers on the truck are believed to be residents of John Laing Township in Lusaka and were heading to Lonchinvar fishing camp.
President Lungu expressed sadness over the deaths when he visited the Copperbelt yesterday.
Vice-President Inonge Wina, who was in Livingstone for the official opening of the fourth general assembly of the Association of African Public Services Commissions, yesterday observed a moment of silence for the accident victims.