UGANDA, Mukono | Real Muloodi News | A dormitory fire at Salama Boarding School for the Blind in Mukono District has claimed the lives of 11 girls. The incident took place on Tuesday 25 October at midnight.
“One of our dormitories caught fire and burnt at around midnight. The matron made an alarm,” Francis Kinubi, the school’s founder, said.
He added, “This was one of the dormitories for the young girls and it caught and burned down and, very, unfortunately, 11 girls, small girls, perished.”
Six other persons were hospitalised and are in serious condition, according to a statement from the police.
They said that the origin of the nighttime fire that destroyed a girls’ dormitory was unknown.
The victims, who included young girls between the ages of seven and 10, were charred beyond recognition, according to top Mukono official Fatuma Ndisaba.
DNA testing will be used to identify the victims’ bodies, she added.
“You cannot tell who is who,” she said, speaking of the charred bodies.
A small group of people, including several distraught ladies, gathered in front of the school’s entrance.
The area was sealed off by police, and military investigators were visible.
On Friday, October 28, Princess Anne of the United Kingdom was anticipated to pay a visit to this same institution for the blind.
Tina Wamala, a communication specialist at the British High Commission in Uganda, said there was no information on change of programme of Princess Royal’s visit to the school and said if it happens, the head of logistics will inform the public accordingly.
Maj. Gen. Birungi while addressing the press said security was not taking the incident lightly since the country was facing threats of terrorism, given the fact that Princess Royal and her husband were scheduled to visit the school.
He added that he did not want to preempt investigations, and security would investigate and get to the core of the cause of the fire at the school.
In Uganda, where classrooms and dormitories are frequently packed and there is typically no firefighting apparatus in place, fires at schools have been a source of concern for education officials.
Poor electrical connections have occasionally been attributed to these fires by authorities.
Administrator Kinubi of the Salama School for the Blind admitted to a lack of safety equiptment.
“I have to admit that we do not have systems like fire extinguishers because we have always been appealing to government to provide us with some of these gadgets, but in vain,” he said.
In two separate instances in 2020, two dormitories at a prestigious boarding school in Wakiso District were burned, although nobody was harmed.
In a Kampala boarding school fire that occurred at night in 2008, 19 primary school kids were killed.
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