Gertrude Mutyaba and MALIK FAHAD JJINGO
At least 13 people have been confirmed dead following a car accident along Masaka – Mbarara bypass in Masaka City on Thursday morning. Police say the accident which occurred at Kasijagirwa village near Gaz Petrol Station involved two vehicles.
According to eyewitnesses, the accident occurred after a speeding Mbarara-bound bus overtook a trailer Reg. No. T433BDY/T877DWZ which was travelling from Kampala and in the process, the driver of the trailer lost control and rammed into an oncoming commuter taxi registration number UBC 995C.
“The crash occurred during an early morning downpour which frustrated our efforts to save the victims, some have been rushed to hospital in critical condition and it will be a miracle to survive,” Mr Sam Kizito, a resident of Kasijagirwa Village told this journalist.
Kizito said the bus did not stop and he did not record its registration number plate. Most of the victims were occupants of the commuter taxi which had 15 people aboard.
Hours later, Uganda Red Cross tweeted saying 14 people had died.
“Great thanks to Kampala Traffic and Uganda Red Cross Cross teams that have responded to a road traffic accident at Masaka – Kyabakuza road this morning involving commuter taxi and trailer. 14 dead and accorded dignified handling, referrals (number not confirmed),” read the statement on Red Cross Twitter handle.
However, southern region traffic police commander, ASP Godfrey Mwesigye said 13 people had been confirmed dead.
The regional police spokesperson, Mr Muhammad Nsubuga said their rescue operations were underway to help the victims most of whom were not found with identification documents.
“The deceased include the driver of the commuter taxi. We are yet to get details of the other victims because they don’t have identification documents,” he said.
He said some victims who sustained fractured legs and arms are admitted to Masaka Regional Referral Hospital. He blamed the accident on reckless driving.