Two people drownedÂ in a quarry dam in the central Malawi district of Ntchisi on Sunday after a baptism ceremony.
Ntchisi Police spokesperson Gladson Mâ€™bumpha identified the deceased as Bernard Chimombo (21) and Kondwani Banda (19) from Kanyanje Village in Traditional Authority Chilowoko in the district.
He said the two were among 32 members of the God Consuming Fire Church who went to the dam in Chinsaluzo Village for baptism.
Mâ€™bumpha said after the official baptism ceremony, the two reportedly remained behind.
â€œAfter the other members as well as the two deceased had been baptised, the two, having been pleased with the cool water in the dam, decided to go back into the water for a swim. They remained behind while all the others went home,â€ reported Mâ€™bumpha.
He said the two instantly drowned in the dam which is deep as it was created during a quarry extraction at the site.
The police PRO said the congregation went back to the site after being notified that their colleagues had drowned.
â€œThey [the two] were then taken to Malomo Health Centre where a post-mortem conducted on them revealed that they died due to suffocation,â€ said Mâ€™bumpha.
He said police have since ruled out foul play in the death of the two as they reportedly died due to drowning and suffocation.
The church, according to a member who opted for anonymity and whose contact number police provided to The Nation, has since distanced itself from the incident, saying the two drowned after the whole baptism session had ended and their friends had gone home.
The Nation was unable to speak to relatives on Monday.