Four people have drowned in the Luapula River after a canoe they were on capsized due to overloading.

And in a related development, a two-year-old boy has died on the spot after he was hit by a motorbike along the Chipata-Lundazi road.

Police spokesperson Esther Katongo has disclosed in a statement that the first accident happened on Monday around 16:00 hours when the victims were trying to cross the river from Milenge to a fishing camp in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

“The victims have been identified as Patricia Mandela aged 23, female juvenile Mwansa Safeli aged four, male juvenile Mwape Safeli aged three and a female adult identified as Maria Peter aged 25, all of Ndeni Village, Chief Sokontwe of Milenge District. It is suspected that the canoe capsized due to overloading,” Katongo stated.

She stated that all the bodies have been retrieved.

Meanwhile, Katongo stated that the accident involving a two-year-old child occurred on Monday around 17:00 hours at Msuzi area near Msuzi Secondary School when the rider of the motorbike lost control due to inexperience and hit the child who was off the road.

“The victim has been identified as Ganizani Nyirenda of Msuzi area, Chief Mphamba of Lundazi District. The body is in Lundazi District Hospital mortuary awaiting postmortem,” stated Katongo.