Two injured in Busesa fuel tanker fire

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Busesa- Several residents of Busesa Trading Centre, one of the few in Busoga region to have been started by native businessmen in the last century, were on Saturday night left in tears after an inferno that left two people critically injured.

Merchandise and household items worth millions of shillings were lost in the fire which also destroyed a dormitory of St Andrew’s Primary School.

Some people like this man resorted t

Some people like this man resorted to rudimentary methods to fight the fire. Photo by Yazid Yolisigira

However, pupils of the school escaped without injuries.

The injured were identified as the Speaker of Ibulanku Sub-county Council, Mr Steven Kalamagi, and the driver of the ill-fated truck whose identity has not been established.

Iganga District Police Commander, Mr Nagib Ndita, said the driver who was rescued from the fire by residents who rushed to the scene of the accident was briefly admitted in Iganga Hospital, before being transferred to Mulago National Referral Hospital on Sunday.

The fire broke out when a fuel tanker belonging to Stabex International exploded in the trading centre on the Iganga Bugiri highway.

A man ins

A man inside a damaged house

The registration number of the cabin of the truck was destroyed by the fire, but the trailer registration number was ZF-1483.

The fire broke out less than a kilometre from the spot where a similar fuel tanker caught fire in 2000 leaving more than 100 people, mostly those who had gone to draw fuel, dead.

The remains of most of the dead were interred in a mass grave.

An eyewitness, Mr Fenekansi Kizito, said the fire broke out at about 10 p.m. when the driver of the lorry lost control after hitting a giant road hump opposite the gate of Busesa Primary School.

The vehicle is then said to have overturned and spilled most of its contents in a drainage channel which flows through the trading centre.

The circumstances under which the lorry caught fire is still the subject of a police investigation, but Mr Kirya Yefusa, a resident of the town says it could have been sparked by friction.

The flames, followed the path of the fuel to the trading centre where it razed several buildings on both sides of the road and about four electiricity transformers.

The Police fire fighting unit arrived about 30 minutes after the fire broke out. The fire fighters ran out of water and drove back to the closest water hydrants in Iganga town to refill before returning to put out the fire.

Moments after the fire had been put out; the police was engaged in running battles with some residents who wanted to take advantage of the situation to siphon the fuel.

Iganga District Police Commander, Mr Nagib Ndita, blamed the accident on both speeding and the size of the speed hump.

“He didn’t see the huge hump which is at Busesa,” he said.

The LCIII Chairman of Ibulanku Sub-county, Mr Ayub Kyozira, is calling on the Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) to make adjustments to the size of the hump saying this was the third accident that has been registered at the spot in the last three months.

“We need to have small warning humps and signs erected before this big one. We are only lucky that no deaths have been registered but something needs to be done as a matter of urgency,” he said.

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