Mbale Locals Rush For Free Fuel After Another Tanker Overturns

1624 Views Mbale, Eastern Region, Uganda

In short
Police in Mbale used batons to on Tuesday morning to chase people who wanted to invade a scene of accident involving a fuel tanker. In a case of people learning nothing and forgetting nothing, police had to intervene immediately after local people started gathering around another fuel tanker which overturned along Mbale- Kampala highway just about a kilometer from Mbale town.

Police in Mbale used batons to on Tuesday morning to chase people who wanted to invade a scene of accident involving a fuel tanker.

In a case of people learning nothing and forgetting nothing, police had to intervene immediately after local people started gathering around another fuel tanker which overturned along Mbale- Kampala highway just about a kilometer from Mbale.
 
At least two people were killed after the tanker crashed them.
 
The tanker registration number UAF 481M was heading towards Kampala when the driver veered off the road, crashed onto a Bodaboda motorcyclist before turning.

The cyclist only identified as Ayub and his passenger also identified only as Yumbe, an attendant at BAM supermarket, died instantly while the driver of the tanker Fred Ssengendo escaped and fled the scene. The 9:00am accident occurred just less than 10 meters away from Habib Fuel Station.

This comes just nine days after the Namungoona fuel tanker fire that killed at least 41 people. At least 10 other people are still being treated at Mulago Hospital for severe burns.

Besides being a fuel tanker, the proximity of the accident scene to the fuel station never scared residents most of who rushed with hope of scooping what they thought would be flowing fuel.

The tanker was, however, empty although the police rushed to the scene in time and immediately dispersed the already gathering crowd.

Commanded by Jacob Opolot, the Elgon Regional Police Commander, and Gerald Twesige, the Mbale District Police Commander, the officers deployed heavily at the scene blocking the Mbale- Kampala Highway for more than two hours as they removed the body of the victims and the wreckage.

One person whose identity was not established by the time of filling this report was arrested for allegedly inciting violence. He is accused of trying to mobilize residents to invade the scene of the accident.

The bodies of the deceased have been taken to Mbale Regional Referral Hospital Mortuary for postmortem.

Jacob Opolot, the Elgon Regional Police Commander, blamed the accident on reckless driving. He said the driver of the tanker was talking on phone when the vehicle veered off the road and crashed the cyclist with his passenger.

//Cue in: “This accident occurred…
Cue out: …and be prosecuted.”//

Police now says government still has much to do to respond to fire related accidents which are becoming too common.

A senior police officer who declined to be named because he is not allowed to talk to the media acknowledges that little or no measures have been designed to protect lives and property during fire accidents.

Government has so far give 5 million shillings to each of the 63 victims or the relatives of those who died in the Namungoona fire.

 

About the author

Denis Olaka
Denis Olaka is the URN bureau chief for Lira, in northern Uganda. Apac and Otuke fall under his docket. Olaka has been a URN staff member since 2011.

Olaka started his journalism career in 2000 as a news reporter, anchor, and then editor for Radio Lira in Lira district. He was subsequently an editor with Lira's Radio Wa in 2004 and Gulu district's Mega FM.

He was also a freelance writer for the Daily Monitor and Red Pepper newspapers.

Olaka's journalism focuses on politics, health, agriculture and education. He does a lot of crime reporting too.