Eight people were killed Monday in a job search stampede that also left dozens injured in Zambia's northeastern fishing town of Mpulungu, state radio said.
“I wish to confirm that eight people have died in a stampede when they were looking for casual work at GLP,” permanent secretary for Zambia's Northern province Emmanuel Mwamba told the radio station, referring to fish wholesaler firm Great Lakes Products.
“So far, the hospital in Mpulungu has treated 38 cases with six in critical condition,” he added.
Some 5,000 job seekers had gathered outside the company's premises following rumours that the owner was in town.
Sahran Salim, GLP's owner who is based in another town, usually recruits casual labour when he visits the plant located near Lake Tanganyika, along the border with Tanzania.
Mwamba said that job seekers became impatient when security guards delayed opening the plant's gates and forced their way into the premises, sparking the stampede.
Only about half-a-million people in Zambia - a country of 13 million people and Africa's largest copper producer - are in formal employment, according to official figures. - Sapa-AFP