By Asimenye Sibale
Nine people have died after the lorry they were travelling in fell from Kaseye bridge into a river in Chitipa on Sunday.
Eight people died on the spot and the death toll has risen to nine this morning.
According to Chitipa Police spokesperson Gladwell Simwaka, 72 members of the African International Church boarded the Fuso Fighter lorry with registration number RU 1141.
They were travelling to Lufita in Chitipa following a religious meeting at Ifumbo in the same district.
At the bridge, the driver failed to control the vehicle and it hit the planks on the wooden bridge before plunging into the river.
Eight people died on the spot while one more person died in hospital. Sixty-three other people in the lorry suffered various degrees of injuries and were taken to Chitipa District Hospital.
The driver of the lorry reportedly fled the scene of the incident.
Government has since said that it will assist bereaved families with coffins, compensation and transport.