Nineteen mobile market traders have died after the truck they were in overturned and plunged into the Chambeshi River in Mungwi District.
Northern Province Regional Police Commissioner Jestus Nsokolo confirmed the accident to ZANIS, saying the deceased include fifteen men and three women.
Mr. Nsokolo said the accident happened around 21:30 hours at Kalikeka village in Mungwi District involving a Benz Atego Truck which was carrying fifty seven passengers and driven by Lewis Mutale believed to be a Kasama resident.
He said five people are nursing serious injuries and are admitted to Kasama General Hospital while 21 others escaped unhurt.
Mr. Nsokolo disclosed that the bodies of the deceased have been deposited to Kasama General Hospital mortuary where health officials and relatives are conducting the identification.
He attributed the accident to over-speeding and over-loading, saying the driver is currently on the run.
The Police Commissioner has since urged transporters to strictly abide by traffic regulations to avoid accidents.
And Northern Province Permanent Secretary Royd Chakaba has described the accident as tragic, saying government is saddened by the loss of lives.
Mr. Chakaba revealed that government will take charge of all the funeral expenses
He has since wished the bereaved families God’s strength during the period of mourning.
And Northern Province Health Director Lawrence Phiri has advised bereaved families not to hold funeral gatherings owing to the rising cases of COVID-19 amidst the third wave.
Meanwhile, Northern Province Market Traders Association Chairperson Brandon Mwambazi called for calm among the bereaved.
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