The death toll from Bakulu bus accident that happened this morning in Nisitu village, South Sudan has reached 32, with 18 other people in critical condition.
The bus registration number UAS 073P collided with a trailer registration number UAB 300E while on its way to Kampala.
Reports from Juba say the situation is worsening every minute, as good Samaritans work with the medical team to save the lives of those injured. Officials from the bus company have reportedly gone into hiding.
Yazidi Galikobya, the chairperson of Ugandans living in South Sudan, says they are desperately trying to establish the identities of the dead. Galikobya says they have counted 32 dead bodies, among which is a two-year old boy whose mother is reported to have also died. He says 18 other victims who are unconscious could also die anytime.
He says the bus driver who was also injured fled the scene of the accident shortly after. The Chairperson says most of the dead have no identification cards and its getting extremely difficult to inform the relatives.
Galikobya says attempts to get the booking sheets to establish the names of the dead failed because the book is also missing. He is suspecting that the conductor also died on the spot.
In the Kampala office, the only people available are the booking clerks. When our reporter asked them about the accident, they declined to talk, saying it is only the manager who can speak. However, the known phone contacts for the company, 0772381274 and 0714381274, were switched off.
Earlier in the day, Patrick Jimmy Okema, the Aswa regional police spokesperson, told URN that the accident was caused by reckless driving on the part of the trailer driver. He said the driver was driving on the left and yet he was already supposed to change to the right as he had entered South Sudan.
Paddy Ankunda, the spokesperson of Uganda Peoples Defence Forces, when called said he had not received a detailed report from Juba. He promised to get back to URN.
By the time of filing this story, the force had reportedly offered an ambulance to transport the injured and dead to the hospital. Only five people were able to walk out of the bus with minor injuries, while the rest had to be lifted.
This is the second time in a space of about two months that Bakulu Coach is involved in a nasty accident. In July, a bus belonging to the same company injured 16 passengers along Atiak-Nimule road. This month alone, several passengers were injured along Gulu-Atiak road, when the bus they were travelling in overturned.