A fire at a boarding school for blind students killed 11 children in a rural community just outside Uganda’s capital-Zamkuwire - Zamkuwire.com

A fire at a boarding school for blind students killed 11 children in a rural community just outside Uganda’s capital-Zamkuwire

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A mother of one of the children cries at the scene of a fire, at the Salama School for the Blind in Luga village, Mukono district, Uganda Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2022. A police official says 11 people, including children, were killed in the fire at the boarding school in a rural community just outside the capital, Kampala, with six other people hospitalized in critical condition. (AP Photo/Hajarah Nalwadda)

 

A fire at a boarding school for blind students killed 11 children in a rural community just outside Uganda’s capital, Kampala, the school’s administrator and police said Tuesday.

“One of our dormitories caught fire and burnt at around midnight. The matron made an alarm,” Francis Kinubi, the school’s founder, said. “This was one of the dormitories for the young girls and it caught and burned down and, very unfortunately, 11 girls, small girls, perished.”

Police said in a statement that six other people were hospitalized in critical condition. They said it was not yet known what caused the overnight fire that gutted a girls’ dormitory at Salama School for the Blind in the district of Mukono.

Fatuma Ndisaba, a top official in Mukono, told local broadcaster NTV that the victims, including girls between the ages of 7 and 10, were burned beyond recognition. The victims’ bodies will be identified through DNA analysis, she said.

A mother of one of the children sits at the scene of a fire, at the Salama School for the Blind in Luga village, Mukono district, Uganda Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2022. A police official says 11 people, including children, were killed in the fire at the boarding school in a rural community just outside the capital, Kampala, with six other people hospitalized in critical condition. (AP Photo/Hajarah Nalwadda)Security forces and forensics officers stand in front of a burned dormitory at the scene of a fire at the Salama School for the Blind in Luga village, Mukono district, Uganda Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2022. A police official says 11 people, including children, were killed in the fire at the boarding school in a rural community just outside the capital, Kampala, with six other people hospitalized in critical condition. (AP Photo/Hajarah Nalwadda)

“You cannot tell who is who,” she said, speaking of the charred bodies.

A small crowd that included distressed women gathered outside the school’s gates.

Police cordoned off the scene, and military officials were seen investigating. Britain’s Princess Anne, who is expected in the East African country this week, was scheduled to visit the school on Friday.

A forensics officer walks past a burned dormitory at the scene of a fire at the Salama School for the Blind in Luga village, Mukono district, Uganda Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2022. A police official says 11 people, including children, were killed in the fire at the boarding school in a rural community just outside the capital, Kampala, with six other people hospitalized in critical condition. (AP Photo/Hajarah Nalwadda)

Relatives and other villagers wait near the scene of a fire at the Salama School for the Blind in Luga village, Mukono district, Uganda Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2022. A police official says 11 people, including children, were killed in the fire at the boarding school in a rural community just outside the capital, Kampala, with six other people hospitalized in critical condition. (AP Photo/Hajarah Nalwadda)Forensics officers stand next to a burned dormitory at the scene of a fire at the Salama School for the Blind in Luga village, Mukono district, Uganda Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2022. A police official says 11 people, including children, were killed in the fire at the boarding school in a rural community just outside the capital, Kampala, with six other people hospitalized in critical condition. (AP Photo/Hajarah Nalwadda)

Fires at schools have been a cause of concern for education officials in Uganda, where classrooms and dormitories are often crowded, and there’s usually no firefighting equipment in place. Officials have cited poor electrical connections as sparking blazes in some cases.

Kinubi, the Salama School for the Blind administrator, acknowledged a lack of safety equipment.

“I have to admit that we do not have systems like fire extinguishers because we have always been appealing to government to provide us with some of these gadgets, but in vain,” he said.

Two dormitories at a prominent boarding school in Kampala were destroyed in separate incidents in 2020. No one was hurt.

In 2008, 19 elementary school students were killed in a nighttime fire at a boarding school in Kampala.Mothers of some of the children console each other at the scene of a fire, at the Salama School for the Blind in Luga village, Mukono district, Uganda Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2022. A police official says 11 people, including children, were killed in the fire at the boarding school in a rural community just outside the capital, Kampala, with six other people hospitalized in critical condition. (AP Photo/Hajarah Nalwadda)A mother of one of the children cries at the scene of a fire, at the Salama School for the Blind in Luga village, Mukono district, Uganda Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2022. A police official says 11 people, including children, were killed in the fire at the boarding school in a rural community just outside the capital, Kampala, with six other people hospitalized in critical condition. (AP Photo/Hajarah Nalwadda)

A mother of one of the children cries at the scene of a fire, at the Salama School for the Blind in Luga village, Mukono district, Uganda Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2022. A police official says 11 people, including children, were killed in the fire at the boarding school in a rural community just outside the capital, Kampala, with six other people hospitalized in critical condition. (AP Photo/Hajarah Nalwadda)Security forces carry a body bag at the scene of a fire, at the Salama School for the Blind in Luga village, Mukono district, Uganda Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2022. A police official says 11 people, including children, were killed in the fire at the boarding school in a rural community just outside the capital, Kampala, with six other people hospitalized in critical condition. (AP Photo/Hajarah Nalwadda)

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