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Death toll in Rubirizi fuel fire accident reaches 20

Several feared dead after a fire gutted a trading centre in Western Uganda. (PHOTO/Courtesy)

RUBIRIZI – A total of 20 people are said to have so far died in a deadly fuel fire accident at Kyambura Trading Centre in Rubirizi District on Sunday afternoon.

The accident, which occured at around 3.30pm, involved a fuel tanker, which was from Kasese side, lost control after failing to negotiate a corner and Knocked stationary vehicles, which sparked the fire.

The fire immediately spread to nearby shops. Multiple witnesses told this website that most of the dead were caught unawares as they were in their shops, with others taking naps. Others were also burnt as they attempted to rescue their property from the burning shops.

Residents also blamed the fire brigadea for arriving too late, that is about two hours after the fire had started.

Sincere Kansiime, a resident, told journalists that she counted 15 bodies that were being removed from the burnt houses. She said residents abandoned the rescue efforts and instead concentrated on saving property from their houses due to fear that the fire would spread there.

According to Greater Bushenyi regional police spokesperson, Martial Tumusiime, they 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.

This is the most recent deadly fire accident in Uganda in the last 6 years. In 2013, 33 people – mainly bodaboda riders – were killed in the fuel tanker fire, which also destroyed about 20 motorcycles at Namungoona on the Northern Bypass.

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