UGANDA, Kasese | Real Muloodi News | A fire broke out on Saturday afternoon at the Hima Cement Plant in Kasese, killing 3 people and leaving 8 others injured; one in critical condition.
The Hima Cement Plant Fire Bridge Unit was first on the scene, trying to put out the fire as black smoke bellowed out. The Uganda People’s Defence Force (UPDF), together with the Uganda police at Hima Police Station were immediately called and surrounded the entire factory shortly thereafter.
The Hima Cement plant fire responders, with the support of Uganda Police Fire Brigade and the UPDF team, were able to bring the fire under control in under one hour.
Engineer Ronnie Muhumuza, who claims to be an employee of Hima Cement, told the press that he was taking breakfast when the incident occurred, and immediately rushed to the scene to ascertain what had happened. Upon reaching the scene, he saw one of the fuel tanks having caught fire.
Not long after the incident occurred, nearby residents claim that they heard an alarm coming from the factory, and shortly after some strange banging and what a sounded like a blast.
The company’s CEO, Jean-Michel Pons, issued a statement on Saturday evening, confirming that the fire erupted during installation works at an oil tank at the site.
“A team was doing installation works at the Light Diesel Oil Tank when the incident happened. Our team is working with the authorities to further investigate the incident and to ascertain the course of events. We shall share more information in due course,” Pons said.
“Our operations at the Hima Plant have been stopped as we take stock of this incident and to ensure that the fire is fully contained. The Health and Safety of our employees and all stakeholders remains our number one priority,” he added.
Pons further expressed his deepest sympathies to the families of those that lost their lives, and of those that were injured.
Hilda Maate Businge, the Hima Town Council L. C III Chairperson, also expressed regret about the incident and sympathised with families whose relatives and friends have died or were injured.
On Sunday, the National Building Review Board Investigations Team, led by the Executive Secretary Eng. Flavia Bwire, visited the Hima Cement Factory to examine the cause of the fire. Investigations are still ongoing.
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