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Tragedy Strikes As Malawi’s VP’s Funeral Convoy Kills 4 Mourners, Injures 12 Others

1718642542 Saulos Chilima

A vehicle in the convoy of Malawi’s late vice president’s funeral procession rammed into mourners at a village on Sunday night, killing four people and injuring 12, police said.

It was part of a motorcade transporting the body of Saulos Chilima, who died in a plane crash earlier this week.

The vehicle plunged into a crowd in Ntcheu a village in central Malawi.

The car, along with other military, police, and civilian vehicles, was headed to Nsipe, Chilima’s home village, 180 kilometres (110 miles) south of the capital Lilongwe, ahead of his burial on Monday — which has been declared a public holiday.

“Due to the impact the two female and two male pedestrians sustained severe head injuries and multiple fractures and died whilst receiving treatment” said a police statement.

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Police spokesman Peter Kalaya told AFP 12 more people had been injured.

Thousands of people had lined up in the streets to catch a glimpse of the vice president’s coffin.

An eyewitness told AFP that the vehicle plunged into the group as it attempted to manuever away from the volatile crowd.

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Felix Njawala, spokesman for Chilima’s party, said there was some tension along the route as mourners demanded the procession stop so they could see the coffin.

“In Dedza, people blocked the road and demanded to see the coffin” he told AFP, “only when the convoy stopped were people pacified and the convoy was able to proceed” adding that in some instances people threw stones at the convoy.

While he acknowledged that party supporters had questions, he called on them to maintain peace.