Eleven girls were killed in a massive fire that engulfed their dormitory at a Ugandan boarding school for the blind outside of the country’s capital, Kampala, in the district of Mukono.
Francis Kinubi, the Salama School for the Blind’s founder and administrator, disclosed that the matron of the school raised the alarm after one of the girls’ dormitories caught fire and burnt at around midnight. Among the 11 girls that perished in the fire were girls between the ages of 7 and 10. The victims’ bodies were burnt beyond recognition, and DNA analysis will be utilized to identify them.
In a similar nighttime blaze, 19 elementary school students died in a fire at a boarding school in Kampala in 2008. School fires have become a source of concern for education officials in the country as classrooms and dorms are frequently crowded, and there is typically no firefighting apparatus in place. In several instances, officials have blamed inadequate electrical connections for starting fires.
Kinubi acknowledged the school’s lack of safety equipment, such as fire extinguishers, and said that consistent pleas to the government for the necessary equipment have so far been in vain. Six other people who were injured in the fire have been hospitalized in critical condition. What initiated the massive blaze is not yet known.