Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | There was tension among travelers and residents of Wakaliga in Lubaga division on Wednesday evening, when a coach belonging to Link buses caught fire. The fire broke out in the Kampala-bound bus registration number UBD 269A, that was returning from Kasese around 10:00pm. The bus burst in flames at Wakaliga traffic lights.
Luke Owoyesigyire, the Deputy Kampala Metropolitan Police spokesperson said that, “Our fire prevention and rescue services officers responded on time, fortunately, the fire had been extinguished by other first responders using a nearby fire extinguisher, water, and sand.” According to Owoyesigyire, all the passengers escaped unhurt.
He explained that preliminary police investigations attribute the fire to a short circuit in one of the headlamps. The incident comes days after the government lifted the suspension of the activities of Link Buses.
About two weeks ago, the Ministry of Works halted the operations of Link buses following a lone accident that claimed lives of more than 20 people and left several others injured.
The bus overturned at Ssebitoli, two kilometers from Fort Portal city along the Fort Portal-Kyenjonjo road. While lifting the suspension, the Minister of Works and Transport, Gen. Edward Katumba Wamala said that they had fully inspected the buses and found them fit to resume their operations.
However, police say that the bus that caught fire didn’t have fire extinguishers on board. “Our officers from the fire prevention and rescue services have noted that the bus had no fire extinguisher of its own. We advise all bus operators to have the fire extinguishers in place in case of a fire emergency,” Owoyesigyire noted.
The 2021 crime report by the Directorate of Fire and Rescue services indicates that 1,258 fire incidents were registered compared to 1,013 fires recorded in 2020. Police attributed 272 incidents to negligence and another 186 to short-circuiting.