Stampende during recruitment for casual jobs leaves 11 dead in Mpulungu

By Chimwemwe Simpito

Eleven people died Monday morning in Mpulungu in a job stampede related incindent.

The incident occurred when over 5000 people gathered at Great Lakes Products (GLP) in Mpulungu when residents learnt that the owner of thefishing company,  Sahran Salim was in town and would employ some casuals.

When the gates where not opened by 07: 30hrs, the crowd grew impatient and overpowered the guards and stormed the premises.

During the ensuing stampede, eleven people died and six were taken to hospital unconsious.

Salim who is based in Kitwe usually travels to Mpulungu and during his stay, he employs casuals and the remuneration is impressive as it involves wages and foodstuffs.

Mpulungu District Medical Officer, Dr. Mukuka Sampa confirmed that 8 people were brought in dead and stated that the hospital has so far treated 38 victims and 6 remain in a critical condition. Dr. Sampa said the hospital was making arrangements to evacuate patients to Mbala General Hospital.

Among the dead are two school girls from Musende Basic School.

District Education Board secretary (DEBS) Josephine Mabuku Sipalo expressed shock on the saddened  death of the pupils.

She said Mpulungu is a fishing area which causes many school going children to abandon  school to go fishing.

Northern Province Permanent Secretary Emmanuel Mwamba stated that Mpulungu Hospital was overwhelmed and has a small mortuary and might require that bodies are transferred to Mbala.

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