By JAMES KUNDA -
FIVE fire-fighters of Chirundu District Council died on the spot while two others are nursing injuries after being involved in a road traffic accident on Saturday evening.
Meanwhile, a man of Kitwe has strangled his one-year-three-month-old son at a hospital bed at Kitwe Central Hospital.
The fire-fighters lost their lives around 19:00 hours at Kapilingozi area along the Chirundu-Kafue Road as the seven victims were on their way to rescue a person who was trapped in a vehicle wreckage after an accident on the same route.
The deceased were identified as Godfrey Kamalondo, Lackson Simukonda, Oscar Kaula, Happy Mwansa, and Lackson Sinkamba, whose bodies were taken to Mtendere Mission Hospital mortuary.
The unidentified men who sustained injuries were receiving treatment at the same hospital.
Police deputy spokesperson Rae Hamoonga, who confirmed the accident in a statement yesterday, said the fatality occurred after the driver of the fire tender, who was among the dead, lost control due to speeding.
“The vehicle hit into a hill and overturned leaving five people dead and two wounded. The driver is among the deceased, whose bodies are at the Mtendere Mission Hospital mortuary and the two are also admitted to the same hospital,” Mr Hamoonga said.
In the bizarre incident in Kitwe, the man identified as Sydney Mutale strangled his son, hit him against the floor and stepped on the toddle repeatedly.
The incident incensed members of the public present in the ward and were only prevented from lynching the assailant after quick action by the police.
Copperbelt Police chief Charity Katanga confirmed the incident which happened on Friday, where the toddler was nursing some burns.
Ms Katanga said Mutale went to the hospital to check on the child who was with his mother in Kafue Ward.
Upon getting there, he sent the mother to go and collect some medicine and while she was away, he took hold of the child and strangled it before hitting it against the floor and later stepped on it until the toddler bled profusely and defecated.
Ms Katanga said the man attempted to bolt, but was quickly apprehended by other people within the hospital who had witnessed the incident.
She said the man was taken to a police post within KCH, but had to be whisked away from there as an instant-justice mob almost burnt the police infrastructure.
“The child survived, but is in a critical condition and admitted to the ICU. The father is currently detained at Riverside Police Station where, while in the cells, he started eating human excreta,” she said.