Oil tanker fire claims 31 lives

BY: Isaac Yeboah

The tanker and its immediate surroundings during the blazeThirty one people were killed and 29 others seriously injured in an oil tanker explosion in Kampala at the weekend.
The blast occurred after a saloon car hit the tanker from behind, causing fuel to leak before catching fire.

The tragedy occurred at Namungoona on the Northern Bypass in the Ugandan capital.

Witnesses said those who died had gone to scoop fuel at the scene of the accident. Moments later, the fire engulfed the scene trapping several people.
Kampala Metropolitan Police Commander Andrew Kaweesi described the incident as a “national tragedy.”

President Yoweri Museveni, who is attending Smart Partnership International Dialogue in Dar es Salaam, has sent condolences to the families of the victims.

Relatives and friends gathered at Mulago Hospital mortuary on Sunday hoping to identify bodies of the victims. Mr Hashim Kasinga, the Officer in charge Mulago Police Post, said 29 people who were severely burnt were admitted to Ward 3B of the hospital.

Officials from the Government Analytical Laboratory are at the hospital to carry out DNA tests to help in the identification of bodies.

Some of the dead have been identified as Ms Sylvia Nakanjako, wife of Mr Abdul Kamoga of Ganda in Nansana. Ms Nakanjako, a mother of four, was selling roasted maize at the time of the accident.

Others are Mr Alex Muluya, Mr John Ntale (both boda boda cyclists), Mr Samson Ndugga (turn-boy of a fuel tanker), Mr Fred Kasozi, Mr Emmanuel Mwanje, Mr Magala Byamukama, Mr Katamba Byamukama and Mr Herbert Byamukama.

Those who are nursing severe injuries at the hospital are Mr Sadat Ssentongo, Mr Joseph Ssali, Mr Peter Ssekalembe, Mr Hussein Nsubuga, Mr Ismail Kamulegeya, and Mr David Batambulira.

Others are Mr Patrick Sserunkuuma, Mr Charles Biyinzika, Mr Moses Kayira, Mr Ashraf Kayira, Mr Rashid Okello, Mr Moses Tibesigwa, Mr Joseph Ssessanga, Ms Christine Ssemono, and Mr Ronald Matovu, among others.

This is the second major accident involving fuel tankers. In December 2001, 90 people perished in an inferno in Busesa, Iganga District.

Source: Daily Nation