Five pupils have died in two separate dormitory fires in Kampala and Kyotera. In Kampala, police have confirmed four pupils died and three others injured in a fire that gutted New Crest Junior at Kibedi day and boarding primary school in Kawempe Division.
In the Kyotera district, a pupil died after a dormitory at St John’s primary school caught fire at around 4:30 am today. The pupil has been identified as Savio Kasozi, a primary four pupil.
The Kawempe fire victims have been identified as Tena Denge, Bashira Nabawesi, Julian Nakalanzi, all in primary one, and 7-year-old Hasina Nakawuki, a primary two pupil. The four died in the fire that gutted one of the dormitories at around 3 am this morning.
Kampala Metropolitan deputy police spokesperson Luke Owoyesigyire said the injured were evacuated to Kyadondo hospital where they are currently receiving treatment.
“The school and locals managed the fire outbreak and did not bring it to the attention of the nearest police at Kawempe. This is an act of gross negligence that caused the death and injuries of the pupils,” he said.
He says a case file of causing death has been opened at Kawempe police station.
“We are looking into the matter of why police weren’t informed on time to help in the rescue. Our fire prevention and rescue services are still on the ground with our investigative teams to ascertain the cause of the fire,” Owoyesigyire said.
Meanwhile, according to Hassan Hiwumbire, the Kyotera district police commander, they are yet to establish the cause of the fire at St. John’s school. District authorities agreed to close the school until further notice.
John Lubwa, the school director says that unknown arsonists torched the school and it is not electricity as alleged. He says they are now relying on the police to investigate and find out who burnt the dormitory. The two incidents have happened five days after schools reopened after two years of closure following the outbreak of Covid-19.