27 Tanzanian pilgrims injured in Masaka bus crash

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MASAKA. At least 27 out of 45 Tanzanian pilgrims heading for Uganda Martyrs Day festivities in Kampala have been injured, some seriously, in an accident on Masaka highway.
Police say the Falcon Bus, Registration T967-BTA, rolled on its left side after the brakes failed while ascending a hilly stretch between Kyotera and Masaka town.
Three sustained limp fractures or “serious head injuries”, says Dr Charles Kajoba of Masaka Regional Referral Hospital where the victims were booked for treatment.

Among the injured are septuagenarian Maria Ngonyari, 40-year-old Robert Imman, Alex Rono, 64; Angela Kigulwe Biringi, 65; Gloria Mwisa, 29; Emiyana Babweiga, 65; and, Julliet Arshdes, 40.
Witnesses say the unnamed driver unsuccessfully tried to control the bus as it jerked backwards before rolling on its side.

Police breakdown truck tows away the bus that

Police breakdown truck tows away the bus that was involved in the accident. Photo by Gertrude Mutyaba

Mr Rogers Nandege, the officer in charge of traffic, tells Daily Monitor that preliminary investigations show mechanical failure as likely cause of the 6:30pm accident. Police towed the bus shortly after the crash, roughly two kilometres to Masaka town.
Tanzania each year has a substantial representation at the Uganda Martyrs Day celebrations, which falls on June 3, with Maria; the widow of the country’s founding President Julius Nyerere, always attending.

It is an important day on the Catholic calendar worldwide and Pope Francis celebrated a mass attended by thousands at Uganda Martyrs Shrine Namugongo during his November 2015 visit to the country.

Police and the accident survivors at the

Police and the accident survivors at the accident scene. Photos by Gertrude Mutyaba

The Tanzanians involved in the Monday accident were heading to the Namugongo Shrine ahead of the Martyrs Day observance due this Saturday.
Majority of the victims sustained minor injuries and are out of danger, according to police and doctors at Masaka Hospital.

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