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UPDF accident death toll now 72

By Vision Reporter

Added 27th August 2007 03:00 AM

THE death toll of the fatal crash of a UPDF trailer on Sunday has gone up to 72 after more bodies were recovered from the wreckage and others died in Kapchorwa Hospital.

THE death toll of the fatal crash of a UPDF trailer on Sunday has gone up to 72 after more bodies were recovered from the wreckage and others died in Kapchorwa Hospital.

By Nathan Etengu
& Rashid Muzungyo


THE death toll of the fatal crash of a UPDF trailer on Sunday has gone up to 72 after more bodies were recovered from the wreckage and others died in Kapchorwa Hospital.

The army yesterday confirmed that 57 soldiers, 13 wives and two children died in the accident at Kapchogo cliff on the Kapchorwa-Sironko road, the worst road carnage in Uganda’s recent history. Another 48 were injured. Among the wounded were 31 soldiers, 13 women and four children.

They were evacuated yesterday from Kapchorwa and Mbale hospitals to Mbuya military hospital in Kampala.
The 120 soldiers from the 19th Battalion and their families were travelling from Bukwo to Amudat in Nakapiripirit district for another deployment when the truck rammed onto the roadside of the cliff in Kawowo sub-county, Kapchorwa district, due to brake failure.

The trailer, loaded with 88 soldiers, 26 women, six children, personal belongings and military equipment, also had on board a double cabin pick-up truck.

Army spokesman Maj. Felix Kulayigye said the UPDF had established a probe into the cause of the accident.

But the regional Police commander, Alfonse Mbuga, attributed the accident to over-loading. He said the double cabin pick-up truck on the back of the trailer killed more people than those who perished after the truck rammed onto the pavement of the cliff.

“When the driver lost control of the vehicle after the brakes had failed, the pick-up truck started wobbling, knocking the occupants. It did more damage and caused more deaths,” Mbuga said.

He said the truck had a capacity of 60 persons when considering the personal effects and light weapons it had on board. “The loading of the double cabin pick-up on the trailer endangered the lives of the passengers on board,” Mbuga said. The army is considering a national prayer and a national mourning for the fallen soldiers.

“The Chief of Defence Forces, the Commander of the Land Forces and the entire UPDF pay glowing tribute to our gallant soldiers who died in service of their motherland and our hearts go to the bereaved families,” the UPDF said in a statement yesterday.

It commended the Tingey county MP, Herbert Sabila, and the Kapchorwa District local government for their assistance in trying to rescue the survivors.

Worst road accidents


December 2000:
10 passengers died when their bus plunged into the River Nile at Karuma Bridge; 60 were rescued in a dramatic operation.

September 2003:
Over 50 people died when a UN trailer collided with a Kampala-bound bus from Kigali at Katuna, the Ugandan-Rwandan border.

October 2003:
45 travellers died when a Nairobi-bound trailer rammed into a truck on the Jinja dam and hit an approaching bus full of passengers.

February 2005:
45 people burned to death after a minibus, a fuel tanker and a Suzuki car collided at Lwankima in Mabira Forest.

June 2005:
30 passengers were killed when a bus collided with a Fuso truck on the Kabale-Katuna road.

August 2006:
27 passengers died when their minibus collided head-on with a fuel tanker on the Kampala-Jinja road, 3km from Lugazi town; another three trying to steal fuel from the tanker were killed by the petrol fumes.

January 2007:
33 people were killed, among them six foreigners, and over 70 injured in three separate accidents involving buses, one on the Pakwach-Nebbi road, one on the Jinja-Iganga highway and one on the Bugiri-Busia highway.

UPDF accident death toll now 72

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