A Police Pathologists was on Oct 28th conducting a postmortem on the 25 bodies of people who died when they drowned in Lake Kariba last Friday.
Acting President Edgar Lungu has since declared tomorrow – Wednesday, a day of National Mourning in honour of the victims.
All bodies were retrieved from the lake by Sunday, and are at University Teaching Hospital in Lusaka for a postmortem.
Siavonga District Hospital which is nearest to Gwembe does not have sufficient mortuary facilities and could not contain the 25 bodies of the accident victims.
The bodies had to be transported to UTH with more mortuary facilities, and for a postmortem which is a requirement of the law – The Inland and Water Shipping Act – Cap 466.
After the postmortem, all the bodies will be transported back to Gwembe for burial tomorrow- Wednesday.
A mass burial will be conducted at the same site for all the 25 victims of the water accident, and Vice President Guy Scott will attend.
Family members of the deceased have agreed to hold one funeral, and a burial site as suggested by government.
Chief Simaamba and family members of the deceased have thanked government for support given during the retrieval of bodies of their children.
Meanwhile the US embassy in Lusaka is overwhelmed by the sadness of the death of the 25 people in Lake Kariba.
U.S. State Department Assistant Secretary for African Affairs, Linda Thomas-Greenfield says the people of American join Zambia in mourning.
And the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit – DMMU- has thanked the traditional leadership for advice given to retrieve the bodies, an operation that lasted 57 hours 30 minutes, from the time the accident occurred, through to the retrieval of the last body on Sunday in the evening.
The 25 people died when their boat sunk in Lake Kariba on their way to inter-schools celebrations for the Golden jubilee on Friday, to join the rest of Zambians celebrating 50 years of the country’s independence.
The boat with a capacity of 18 passengers had 33 people on board, but eight of them safely managed to swim to the bank of the lake and survived.
IMage Credit – TIZ