At least 32 people have been confirmed dead and five others sustained serious injuries following an accident involving five vehicles that occurred Tuesday night along Fort Portal-Kasese highway.
Reports say the accident happened at around 9PM at Kihogo along Hima–Rugendabara road, a section of which eye witness revealed was still under re-construction.
Ms Irene Nakasita, the Uganda Red Cross Society Public Relations Officer, in a statement confirmed 32 bodies were recovered and five survivors referred to Kilembe Hospital in Kasese District in western Uganda.
“Our emergency response team working with Uganda Police and UPDF led by Major Charles Nzei has managed the incident,” she addded in a message released to journalists on Wednesday morning.
According to available information, a speeding truck transporting a coffin collided with another car before the drivers of the other cars lost control and rammed into the stationery accident vehicles.
“There was a big truck with a coffin and people on top, while a lorry full of people followed closely behind. When the car with a coffin hit another car, the lorry behind it also rammed into it causing another accident,” Mr Alex Aliganyira, an eye witness told Daily Monitor.
He added, in a short interval, other two vehicles came and also rammed into the wreckage of the first accident cars.
Mr Mathius Okwir, the Rwenzori East regional traffic commander Wednesday morning told the Daily Monitor that detectives were still investigating the actual cause of the accident and would provide details later.
Bodies of the victims and the injured have been taken to Kilembe Mines Hospital.
Mr James Muranga, the Kihogo village chairperson local council I also intimated to the same news paper that the truck was transporting mourners from Bundibugyo en route to Maliba sub-county for burial when the accident happened.
Mr Martin Katende, a driver who was travelling from Mpondwe to Tororo blamed the contractor of Fort Portal–Kasese road that is under construction for not putting warning signs on the road especially where heaps of sand and other road materials have been dumped on the roadside.
Moris Kikwamimbi, who’s one of the survivors told a DM reporter that they were travelling from Bundibugyo District in a canter registration number UAU 457F that had about 25 passengers on board heading to Maliba Kemihoko. As they approached UNRA weighbridge at Kihogo cell, they collided with a speeding Premio registration number UAU 700 U.
“The canter driver and another mzee died on spot while the other passengers jumped out of the canter and tried to run. However, a lorry owned by Umeme, registration number UBF 968Y, arrived and as they (Umeme people) were still inquiring whether there were people who needed immediate help, two speeding trucks for Hima cement factory registration number UAY 793E and UAY 836Y rammed into other vehicles and some residents who had gathered at the scene,” he said.
The reporter also said he had seen several bodies being loaded onto police vehicles and transferred to Kasese Municipal Health Centre III mortuary. A police officer attached to the Forensic department at Hima Police Division told journalists that the number of the deceased persons could rise as some of the injured victims were in critical condition. (Source: Daily Monitor)