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On the 18/08/2019, at around 4pm, at Kyambura Trading centre, in Rubirizi District, a 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. 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. The four motor vehicles were severely burnt and damaged.

The joint security teams from the Police and UPDF have cordoned off the area. So far, 9 burnt bodies have been retrieved from the scene and transported to Lugazi Health Centre for further post mortem analysis and DNA profiling. 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. We urge relatives who could have lost their loved ones to visit the Health centre and avail samples for DNA profiling, better identification and matching of the deceased persons.

In a separate but tragic incident, the police in Namutumba District, also responded to a traffic head-on collision between a YY bus under registration number UAY 852F and commuter taxi, under registration number UAV 689X that occurred at around 6.40 pm, at Bukonte village, (located 5 kms from Namutumba and 25 kms from Iganga), along the Iganga-Namutumba Highway.

The preliminary facts indicate that the driver to the taxi dangerously overtook another commuter taxi that was also heading towards Namutumba from Iganga. The taxi crashed into the bus in the opposite lane, killing 9 passengers instantly, and injured 4 others critically. The accident also claimed the life of a cyclist, who succumbed to the injuries at a nearby clinic, and further injured two other victims on a bodaboda motorcycle under registration number UDS 126N. The bodies to the 10 deceased persons were transferred to Iganga Referral Hospital for post mortem examination as well as the 6 injured victim’s better treatment. All the passengers in the bus had no injuries and efforts are already in place to track down the driver who is on the run, to help in our investigations. Our sympathies go out to both the victims and their families in both incidents.

We strongly condemn the acts of motorists who put the lives of others in danger due to recklessness. These two separate but tragic incidents 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.

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.

Further details will be availed progressively.


CP Fred Enanga

Press and Public Relations Officer

Uganda Police





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