(Vatican Radio) In Zambia’s northern province, Seventeen members of the Saint Vincent de Paul Society (SVP) in the Archdiocese of Kasama have died in a tragic and horrific road accident that happened in the early hours of Saturday morning. Forty-two (42) others are said to be nursing serious injuries. The SVP members were traveling in a truck carrying over 60 people.
Police said it was too early to determine the cause of the accident, but Zambia’s Road Transport and Safety Agency issued a statement which said the accident happened as a result of over speeding and use of a vehicle not authorised to carry passengers.
Kasama Archdiocese communications secretary Fr Felix Chishimba confirmed the accident and said members of the Catholic lay movement of St Vincent De Paul were traveling from Kayambi Mission to Mpulungu, a town in the north of Zambia when the accident happened. They had just participated in local celebrations marking the 400th anniversary of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul.
Zambia’s Times newspaper said Sunday morning that of those killed in the accident, 16 were adults; four were female and 12 male. One was a child. The 42 survivors are admitted to hospitals in Mpulungu and Mbala.
Earlier this month seven members of the St Jonh’s choir in the same Archdiocese of Kasama died in an accident involving a truck.
This week, Catholics celebrated the 400th anniversary of the start of the Society of St Vincent de Paul (SVP). SVP is an international voluntary organisation of the lay faithful in the Catholic Church. It was founded in the 17 Century by a French priest, St. Vincent. He is considered patron saint of Catholic charities because of his dedication to the poor and the marginalised.
(English Africa Service, Vatican Radio)