Fuel tankers crash, destroy houses

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MASAKA. Residents of Kijabwemi and Bisanje villages in Masaka District were sent into an early morning panic on Thursday when two fuel tankers crashed in separate accidents with one catching fire and destroying houses.

Ms Daina Nandawula, the Southern Region Police Spokesperson, said a fuel tanker belonging to Moil Petroleum Company failed to brake and overturned at about 10am.

‘Residents notified us and we swung into action since they feared the tanker would catch fire,” Ms Nandawula said. The Police identified the driver as Abdul Mwine and Yona Sabato, his co-driver.

Ms Peninah Nabakooza, a resident of Kijabwemi village near where the tanker overturned, told Daily Monitor that when they heard the noise from the crash, they panicked thinking they had been attacked by assailants who have been terrorizing the area.

Locals gathered at the fuel tanker which over

Locals gathered at the fuel tanker which over turned at Kijabwemi. PHOTO BY CHRISTOPHER KISEKKA

“Since they had dropped leaflets indicating they were coming, at first we thought they had attacked,” Ms Nabakooza said, adding that it took some time before approaching the scene.

A few hours after the first accident, Moil tanker travelling from Mutukula on the Uganda-Tanzania border towards Kampala crashed in Bisanje on the Masaka-Kyotera Road.

Mr Moses Mukumbi, the driver of the truck and a resident of Dar-es-Saalam, Tanzania, said the tanker was carrying nearly 38,000 litres of fuel.

“I saw fire in the cabin and I jumped off the truck,” Mr Mukumbi told the police.

The fire from the truck then quickly spread to the nearby houses, burning them down.

The Regional Fire Officer, Mr Clyde Bernard Ssembusi, said the police then offloaded the fuel from the truck to prevent it from causing more harm to the neighbourhood.

He said investigations into the cause of the two accidents are ongoing.

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