By Andrew Irumba
The Uganda police are to conduct DNA tests on 20 bodies of Ugandans who were burnt to death after a fuel tanker exploded in Kyambura Trading Centre in Kicwamba Sub County, Rubirizi district on Sunday,
The tanker reportedly overturned after failing to negotiate a corner at Kyambura Trading Centre before exploding and burnin two taxis that were loading passengers.
The fire later spread to five nearby buildings in he trading centre, where it trapped traders and customers.
However, after doing preliminary investigations, the police have said that the fire started from a charcoal stove lit by roadside vendors.
Greater Bushenyi Regional Police Spokesperson Martial Tumusiime said “Eyewitness accounts and initial investigations indicate that the flames started from charcoal stoves owned by roadside vendors at the trading centre.”
He added that “The place where the accident occurred is a major stopover for travellers in need of roasted cassava, meat, gonja and other snacks.” Many of the dealers, use charcoal stoves to prepare quick meals by the roadside.
Harriet Nakamya, the Rubirizi Resident District Commissioner, said that the situation is worrying considering that a number of people have since been reported missing.
By the time we went to press ten bodies had been recovered so far during the joint operation with police and Uganda People’s Defense Forces- (UPDF) to receover the bodies.
Police surgeons are also working hand in hand with pathologists to take samples from recoverd corpses to the Government Analytical Laboratory in Wandegeya, Kampala for DNA tests, such that they can be handed to their relatives for proper burial.
The incident however comes just an few days after a fuel tanker exploded and killed nearly 70 people in Morogoro, Tanzania.