Kasese, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Up to 20 people are feared dead following a fire involving a fuel tanker destined for Kasese district.
The fire also burnt two taxis that were loading passengers at a nearby stage and also spread to some nearby buildings, destroying at least eight shops.
According to police, at around 4pm, at Kyambura Trading centre, in Rubirizi District, a tanker truck carrying fuel from Mbarara, lost control and rammed into two commuter taxis and a saloon car, and exploded in flames, killing several people instantly. Three smaller secondary explosions from the parked vehicles followed.
The stream of liquid fire from the fuel also burnt about 25 small shops over a stretch of over 30 metres. The firefighting teams from Bushenyi and Kasese responded and prevented the fire from spreading further. The four motor vehicles were severely burnt and damaged.
The tanker reportedly overturned after failing to negotiate a corner at Kyambura trading centre in Kicwamba sub county of Rubirizi district and burst in flames.
Julius Tugumisirize, a resident of Kyambura trading centre told our reporter that the incident occurred around 3:30 pm and efforts by residents to put out the fire were fruitless.
He says that the police fire brigade arrived about two hours after the fire had started and had over poured the residents.
Sincere Kansiime, another resident says that residents abandoned the rescue efforts and instead concentrated on saving property from their houses due to fear that the fire would spread there.
⚠ACCIDENT ALERT: An accident involving a fuel tanker has occured at Kyambura [Rubirizi district] along Ishaka – Kasese road. @PoliceUg is on ground to handle traffic flow. Please approach carefully at this section. pic.twitter.com/n4uM5b5Ov9
— UNRA_UGANDA (@UNRA_UG) August 18, 2019
Favor Twikirize, an eye witness told URN that she was able to count 10 bodies, which had been retrieved and were yet to be taken to hospital.
The Greater Bushenyi regional police spokesperson, Martial Tumusiime, says police couldn’t get to the scene of the fire in time because of the long distance.
He says that the injured have been rushed to Lugazi health centre IV for treatment He declined to comment on the number of those already confirmed dead.
He also said they are yet to establish the registration number plates of the vehicles gutted by the fire.