Uganda: Government Delivers Relief to Victims of Rubirizi Fuel Tank Fire

The Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) yesterday delivered an assortment of relief items to families and survivors of the fuel tank fire that occurred in Kyambura, Rubirizi District on Sunday.

The items include 50 tarpaulins, 100 saucepans, 200 mosquito nets, 300 plastic plates, 36 blankets and 600 bags rice of 50kg each.

A fuel tanker heading to Kasese Sunday evening rammed into four stationary vehicles causing a friction that resulted into the explosion, according to police.

The fire burnt about five vehicles, over 30 houses and shops and killed 23 people.

"Government has provided these items to help the people affected by the fire tragedy. We are making assessment to be able to give more help," Ms Mary Karooro Okurut, the Minister In charge of General Duties in the OPM, said at Kyambura Trading centre in Kicwamba Sub county on Tuesday.

She said each family that lost people (or a person) will be given Shs500, 000 to help in sending off their loved ones.

The Chief Administrative Officer for Rubirizi District James Luyimbazi said they have so far registered 30 households that lost property and people.

Bodies of the dead people recovered remained at 23 yesterday.

Mr Ruyimbazi said five were taken for burial by relatives while 18 were taken to Kampala for DNA testing.

A medical team was at Rugazi Health Centre IV to get samples from people claiming to have lost people in the inferno.

"Most of the reports we have basically talk about people within Rubirizi but there were taxis parked in the trading centre. One was almost full; it had about 17 passengers. About 25 people are unaccounted for, so we haven't established exact number of people who have died in the tragedy," Mr Ruyimbazi said.

He added that there plans to bury bodies that will not be claimed.

Five people are hospitalized at Kilembe Hospital in Kasese district and other five are at Kampala International University (KIU) Teaching Hospital in Bushenyi.

Dr Michael Luduko the In-charge of the surgical ward at KIU said the victims are out of danger.

Religious leaders of Catholic, Anglican, Muslim and Born Again faiths in the area on Tuesday morning held joint prayers for the deceased and survivors at Kyambura Playground.

The area Member of Parliament John Twesigye Ntamuhira said police arrived at the scene late and ill-equipped.

"They came with inadequate carbon dioxide, however, if they had arrived in time and with adequate tools possibly some lives and property would have been saved," Mr Ntamuhire said.

Martial Tumusiime, the Greater Bushenyi Police Spokesperson, earlier on Monday said they delayed to reach the scene of the accident because they did not readily have fuel.

Ms Karooro yesterday promised to report to the President what people said about Police Fire Brigade.

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