11 pupils confirmed dead, 6 injured in Mukono School fire
Police in Mukono are investigating a fire outbreak that killed 11 pupils at Salama School for the Blind in Luga Village, Ntanzi Parish, Ntejeru Kisoga town council in Mukono District.
Luke Owoyesigyire, the deputy police spokesperson Kampala metropolitan area said the fire whose cause is yet to be established started in the wee hours of Tuesday.
“The cause of the fire is currently unknown but so far 11 deaths as a result of the fire have been confirmed while 6 are in critical conditions and admitted at Herona Hospital in Kisoga,” said Owoyesigyire.
The deceased, all visually impaired children have been identified as Shamira Kalema, Patricia Mudondo, Gladys Namuga, Rebecca Josephine Namulondo, Josephine Joseline Namuwonge, Peace Nalumisa, Agnes Nantume, Pretty Prwoth, Veronica Nasali, Ket Nangutu and Patricia Nakayima.
Dr Stephen Mulindwa, the Mukono District Health Officer, said the six victims in critical condition who were rushed to Herona Hospital in Kisoga Town, Mukono District will later be transferred to Mulago National Referral Hospital.
Francis Kinubi, the school proprietor believes it was an arson attack.
“I think a heartless person set fire on the dormitory with an intension of blocking the princess’ visit because there is no electricity at the side where the fire started,” said Kinubi.
The school has been in preparations for the planned visit of the deceased Queen Elizabeth’s daughter; Princess Anne on October 28th 2022.
Richard Muhimba, a resident of Mukono and father to one of the victims told the press that he cannot describe the pain of his loss.
“I visited him on Saturday, he was in good health, and three days later he is dead,” said Muhimba over the phone.
Rev Peter Bakaluba Mukasa, the LCV chairperson Mukono district said the school has been involved in land conflicts as he received complaints in his office.
Major General James Birungi, the commander of Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI) said they are going to investigate the matter.
According to authorities, some of the pupils are expected to sit the Primary Leaving Examinations (PLE) in two weeks which means that the school cannot be closed at the moment.
The Salama School for the Blind, built in 1999 and has dozens of students, aged between 6 and 25.