A SENIOR Zambia Army officer at Kohima Barracks in Kabwe has died after sustaining severe burns in a servants’ quarter inferno that started when he reportedly attempted to light up a brazier using petrol.
The deceased, whom sources have only identified as Major Namiluko who was in charge of transport at the Military Establishment of Zambia (MILTEZ), is reported to have died at Kabwe General Hospital between 20:00 hours and 21:00 hours on Wednesday after being burnt.
Sources at Kohima Barracks and the police confirmed to the Daily Mail in Kabwe yesterday that Major Namiluko sustained 90 percent body burns.
Zambia Army 2 Infantry Brigade commander a General Banda confirmed the death of Major Namiluko but referred the matter to Central Province Commissioner of Police Standwell Lungu, who declined to comment.
Eye-witnesses told the Daily Mail in that Major Namiluko decided to light up a brazier from his servants’ quarter following a power outage in the barrack.
Maj Namiluko is said to have been keeping some containers of petrol and diesel at the servants’ quarter.
While in the quarter, Major Namiluko reportedly poured some petrol on the brazier and when he lit it up, the whole house went up in flames.
Major Namiluko’s son, who was standing by the door at the time of the incident, survived the inferno after a houseboy from the neighbourhood rescued the boy but found the father engulfed in flames.
By the time Major Namiluko was being rescued, he had already suffered severe body burns.
Minister of Defence Edgar Lungu could not be reached for a comment as he was attending Parliament by press time.
And about 35 Patriotic Front (PF) cadres who were going for a funeral escaped death after the bus they were travelling in was hit by a taxi driver along Mwami-Malawi road.
Six of them suffered serious injuries.
The bus was heading for a funeral of a party member when the accident happened near Crystal Springs Hotel on the Mwami-Malawi road in Chipata.
Eastern Province commissioner of police Grace Chipalila could not confirm whether the accident victims were PF cadres but said the driver of the government bus, Oscar Pweto, 34, lost control of the vehicle which was hit by a taxi driven by Mizeck Lukilu, 39.
Ms Chipalila said one the passengers, Esther Phiri, 39, of DK Township sustained a fractured arm while five others were seriously injured.
Earlier, a check at the hospital found some cadres being attended to in the emergency ward and among those injured are PF district officials who were going for the funeral.
Chipata General Hospital medical superintendent Daniel Makawa told journalists at the hospital that one woman who was among the six seriously injured had her arm amputated after it was crushed in the accident.
Dr Makawa said the hospital received 35 casualties and six of them were seriously injured.
He said the six who included five women and a man have been admitted while the rest were treated and discharged yesterday.
Zambia Daily Mail