Fuel tanker truck catches fire, 09 dead, over 30 shops burnt

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A fuel tanker on Sunday evening burst into flames in Kyambura trading centre, Rubirizi District, in western Uganda.
The accident happened, at around 4pm. The tanker truck carrying fuel from Mbarara, lost control and rammed into two commuter taxis and a saloon car, and exploded in flames, killing several people instantly.



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Three smaller secondary explosions from the parked vehicles followed. The stream of liquid fire from the fuel also burnt about 25 small shops over a stretch of over 30 metres. The firefighting teams from Bushenyi and Kasese responded and prevented the fire from spreading further.



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The four motor vehicles were severely burnt and damaged. According to Ms Harriet Nabukenya, the Rubirizi District Resident District Commissioner, close to 40 retail and wholesale shops were burnt.
The joint security teams from the Police and UPDF have cordoned off the area. Police in statement issued on Sunday evening said, , 9 burnt bodies were retrieved from the scene and transported to Lugazi Health Centre for further post mortem analysis and DNA profiling.



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Another body was still trapped beneath the tanker truck and could not be retrieved due to the cover of darkness. The scene remains closed overnight and the operation continues early morning, to search for more bodies, establish the number of victims injured, since they were rushed to different Health facilities and also establish the cause of the accident.



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Police condemned the acts of motorists who put the lives of others in danger due to recklessness. ‘ ‘tragic incident calls for additional measures by all stakeholders in strengthening our road safety campaigns, with stricter penalties to serve as a deterrent. This is because most of the crash and collision traffic incidents on our roads primarily occur due to bad decisions by drivers.’’ Police Spokesperson Fred Enanga said.



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He added: Further sensitization and awareness programs by the Directorate of Traffic and Road Safety, are ongoing countrywide, for transport owners and their drivers, for them to know that truck and bus driving, requires enough rest and vehicles in good mechanical condition, for the safety of drivers. The awareness campaign and operations, is also targeting drink and drug driving, speeding, distraction, use of seatbelts and driving permits to help prevent such occurrences.

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