Two people were killed and two others seriously injured Friday at Ekwayiweni commercial quarry site in Mzimba where officials from Department of Mines were disposing off bombs confiscated at Mchenga Coal Mine and other quarry sites in the north.
Mzuzu Police Spokesperson Maurice Chapola said the incident happened in resultant to the heavy blast of bombs and detonators.
He said the officials were carrying out the exercise believing that all the explosives had expired yet there were some which had not yet expired.
Chapola said: “They succeeded in destroying the first package of the explosive; this might have prompted them to conclude that all dozens of detonators were expired.”
“They did not mind to keep a recommendable distance of not less than 200 meters from the destroying point after applying some chemicals and diesel to get rid of the confiscated explosives,” he added.
He identified the deceased as Sanilesi Mweso from Department of mines and Type Kachipere, a Mine Captain at Mchenga Coal Mine.
He said the two injured people were battling for their lives at Mzuzu Central Hospital while two others were treated as out-patients.
Several houses were also destroyed following the heavy shaking and aerial stone particles caused by the explosion.
Chapola said Ekwayiweni Commercial quarry site which is about 10 kilometres from Mzuzu city is a recognised blasting site for confiscated explosives by the Ministry of mines and procedurally, Police are supposed to be informed and even provide an escort to the site.
“The Inspector General is notified by written document and at the same time, the Police Commissioner responsible for the region is also informed in advance and they are supposed to go under police escort, which they did not do in this case,” said Chapola.