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11 people killed in fire at school for the blind in Uganda

Salama School for the Blind

KAMPALA, UGANDA – A fire broke at a boarding school in a rural community just outside Uganda’s capital, Kampala, has killed 11 people, including children, a police official said Tuesday.

Luke Owoyesigire said the overnight incident happened at a school for the blind in the district of Mukono, offering no more details.

In a statement, police said six other people were hospitalized in critical condition. They said it was not yet known what caused the fire at Salama School for the Blind.

Fatuma Ndisaba, a top official in Mukono, told local broadcaster NTV that the victims, including children aged between 7 and 10, were burned beyond recognition. With the support of families, she said, the victims’ bodies will be identified through DNA investigations.

Fire incidents at schools have been a cause of concern for education officials in the East African country where classrooms and dormitories are often crowded. There’s usually no firefighting equipment in place, and officials sometimes blame incidents on poor electrical connections.

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 outbreak at a boarding school.

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