via Zambian canoe capsizes, more than 20 feared dead 26 October 2014
More than 20 people, most of them school children, are feared dead after a Zambian canoe capsized on Lake Kariba on Friday.
The victims, reports indicate, also included three teachers who were travelling for celebrations to mark Zambia’s 50th anniversary.
Principal educational standards officer for Southern Province, Peggy Chilema, said of those that died, 23 were pupils of Henga Primary School in Gwembe in Zambia while two were parents. A toddler is reported to have been among the passengers on the boat.
Chilema said the pupils were aged between six and 15 years.
Zambian Vice President, Guy Scott, on Saturday visited the scene of the accident and said there was need to carry out a risk assessment of the water transport system on Lake Kariba.
“We are here to share your suffering. We cannot cure your suffering but maybe we can help to make it better. The Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit is already here. We will make available coffins once we know the exact number of people who died,” he told the relatives of the deceased.
Inspector General of Police, Stella Libongani, said the banana boat was overloaded as it was carrying 34 people instead of the required 14.
She added that the rescue team dispatched to the area had so far only retrieved the body of the toddler that was floating in the crocodile infested waters on Friday.