Limited diving kits hamper search for Luapula boat accident victims

An earlier boatload of migrants rescued by the Italian Coast Guard

Luapula province Police Commissioner Hudson Namachila says limited diving kits and inadequate transports are hampering the search efforts of the bodies of the victims that died in an overloaded boat accident on the Luapula river.


ZANIS in Nchelenge reports that Mr Namachila said in a telephone interview today that so far only two bodies of the 10 people that died, including four Zambians, have been retrieved and buried.


Mr Namachila said the body of unidentified woman was retrieved and buried yesterday.


Mr. Namachila said this brought the number of bodies retrieved so far to two from the time  the accident happened between Sunday and the early hours of yesterday on Monday.


According to ZANIS in Nchelenge, Ten people, among them four Zambians, died on the Luapula River at Kasase area when the over loaded boat they were in capsized.


And Mr Namachila said the marine units of the Zambia Police Service and Zambia Army are on site searching for the remaining bodies.


Mr Namachila said the marine unit of the Zambia Police has no diving kits while the two units were forced to use one boat following an engine fault on the other vessel yesterday.


Mr. Namachila explained that the situation has limited the number of personnel involved in the search because they have to take turns at intervals.


He also explained that although all the victims are from Nkole Island in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Zambian marine units are collaborating to ensure that the bodies are retrieved.


Mr. Namachila said once the bodies are retrieved, they will be handed over to the Congolese authorities for burial in that country.