The number of Malawi army soldiers who died in a fatal road accident in the northern district of Mzimba on Thursday has risen to from initial 16 10 20.
16 soliders were confirmed dead immediately the accident occurred. Four more who sustained injuries have died in hospital.
Moyale Barracks Regimental Medical Officer Captain Dr Victor Mallewa said two more recruits died in the early hours of Friday.
However, Mallewa said the condition of the other 13 patients who were referred to Mzuzu Central Hospital from Mzimba District Hospital on Thursday was getting stable.
“I can confirm that the condition of the remaining patients who were admitted here (to Mzuzu Central Hospital) is getting stable and those that were admitted to Mzimba District Hospital had minor cases so will be discharged today,” he said.
Ellings Nyirenda, an official from the Ministry of Health at Mzimba District Hospital, where most of the dead and injured had been taken, also said there are fears that the death toll could rise.
“Several other soldiers are in critical condition and all of the hospital’s emergency units have been overwhelmed,” he said.
The soldiers had just completed their military training in the region and were driving back to a base, the Malawi Armed Forces College (Mafco) in Salima, a central region district some 98.2 kilometers (around 60 miles) from the capital, Lilongwe.
“The vehicle was carrying 35 officers including military instructors,” Malawi Defence Force (MDF) spokesman Maj. Paul Chiphwanya said.
Chiphwanya said the cause of the accident was not yet known but initial reports indicate that the military vehicle plunged into South Rukuru River.
Meanwhile, names of the deceased soldiers have so far been released.
The names of the dead soldiers are: S. Kathumba Mamu; Khonjera 9MR, Humphrey Kasonda; Bright Misomali; Colby Mwafulirwa; Fredrick Alfred; Godfrey Manjaalera; Steven Ghambi; Davie Maida; Backson Magombo; Enrique Phiri; Robert Mlomba ; Bashiri Khonde; Jailosi Matewere ; Bennett Katama ; Kelvin Mgwilinji and Luka Banda .Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :