BUGWERI, UGANDA: Traffic has paralyzed along Iganga-Busia highway when a fuel trailer overturned and reduced to ashes by fire at Busesa village, Ibulanku Sub-county in Bugweri district near Emera water factory.
The accident which occurred at around 9 am on Saturday, October 9, involved the fuel trailer which was allegedly moving from Bugiri side to Iganga side before its driver reportedly lost control and it overturned hence catching fire. The registration number of the trailer wasn’t identified by press time since it burnt beyond recognition, and it’s reported that the tank was carrying diesel.
Waisare Rashid, one of the Eyewitnesses told Daily Express that there were three people who immediately went out of the trailer before it caught fire.
”I saw three people coming out of the trailer before it started burning. They included a male driver, his turn man and a certain lady,” Waisare said.
The three were yet to be identified but it’s reported that they were not injured, nor any local person.
Izimba Nuhu Isabirye, another witness, attached the incident to reckless driving by the tank driver who tried to resist being overtaken by another trailer driver carrying cement and were repeatedly overtaking one another after every small interval of time.
”The fuel trailer driver was recklessly driving and they were overtaking one another competitively after almost every minute. The trailer carrying cement was inturn overtaking it before the driver of the fuel trailer lost control,” Isabirye narrated adding that it could also have been knocked by the trailer carrying cement.
Micheal Isanga, who also witnessed the accident says that the chairperson LC1 of the village called the fire brigade but they responded late. ”We call upon fire brigade to always respond swiftly for incidents like this one. The LC 1 Chairperson called them but they responded late,” Isanga said.
The Chairperson LC1 Butende village, Mr Mwanda Mawazi Kawolo says that he was the first person to call police who responded after sometime. He reportedly added that a trailer carrying cement could have hit on the fuel tank before overturning.
”I got information that a trailer carrying cement was trying to overtake this vehicle and knocked it before the driver lost control,” he said.
”I want to call upon the general public to always avoid going closer to vehicle involved in related accidents. Many people could be dead in case you attempted to move nearer, I want to commend the locals for not drawing nearer,” Mwanda added.
The traffic was later restored to normal after fire brigade putting off flames and clearing the way. This was led by acting Busoga East Regional Traffic Officer, ASP Kakooza Emmanuel. The wreckages of the trailer were towed to Iganga Central Police station.
Busoga East police mouthpiece, Ms Diana Nandawula confirmed that investigations have started to establish the cause of the accident. ”We have started investigations to establish what caused the accident.”
She added that preliminary findings shows that there was another vehicle overtaking the trailer and the driver lost control in the process of giving way. ‘Our preliminary investigations shows that there was a vehicle overtaking the trailer and the driver of the fuel tank lost control as he tried to give way to the overtaking vehicle,” she said adding that no life was lost in the accident.
Ms Nandawula urged the general public to always inform police in time when such incidents happen for swift response.
”I urge the general public to always call us in time such that we respond in time. I want also to advise you always to desist from moving close to such accidents when they happen since it can cause loss of lives,” she cautioned.
Busesa is on the spot for related accidents and over years, people have been losing their lives in the area.
At least 38 people were burnt to death in Busesa and over 70 injured when they attempted to collect fuel spilled from a broken-down fuel tank which overturned after a flattening tyre in December 2001.