On Wednesday, news broke of the death of a nurse and patient who were burned to death after their ambulance burst into flames in Bunyangabu District.
The country was on Wednesday awash with news of a nurse and a patient who was burnt to death after an ambulance in which they were travelling exploded into flames in Bunyangabu District.
According to Vincent Twesige the Rwenzori West police spokesperson, the accident happened at Kicucu village, Kicucu parish in Kisomoro Sub County as a patient, identified as Robert Asaba, 53, a resident of Hamukungu in Lake Katwe Sub County, Kasese District was being evacuated to hospital.
He was travelling with the deceased nursing officer identified as Peter Baluku, 36, attached to Bwera Government Hospital in Mpondwe, Lhubiriha Town Council.
The incident happened along Kasese- Fort Portal road when an ambulance registration number UG 4191 M Toyota Land cruiser belonging to the Ministry of Health and attached to Kasese District Health Services, carrying a patient with others got a mechanical problem and caught fire. Two people got burnt beyond recognition,” he said.
Twesige added that the driver identified as Zamari Masereka escaped with injuries following the accident. Masereka is said to have attempted to rescue the patient and the nurse but was overpowered by the fire.
However, the health ministry has reacted to the unfortunate incident by saying five people were on board at the time of the fire that started in the patient’s cabin.
According to MoH, three people were in the patient’s cabin including an emergency nurse, an attendant and a patient. Two others were in the front cabin including the driver and another attendant.
“@MinofHealthUG would like to inform the public about pictures of a burning Ambulance circulating on social media.Our emergency care teams were transferring a referred patient from Bwera GH to Fort Portal RRH in an Ambulance which caught fire while in transit at Kibiito.”
“Our Fort Portal emergency response team reported that five people were on board at the time of the fire that started in the patient cabin,” the Ministry tweeted confirming three deaths.
“Reports indicate that 3 people in the patient cabin died while the two in the front cabin escaped with severe burns and were evacuated to Fort Portal RRH for stabilisation and care.”
The Ministry, in addition, said the emergency medical services department sent a team to evacuate the casualties who survived severe burns to Kiruddu National Referral Hospital where there is a specialised burns unit to handle severe burns.
The Ministry, however, mentioned that they are yet to establish the clear cause of the fire but said investigations will be conducted by experts to establish the cause.
“The exact cause of the fire is not known. Investigations will be conducted by experts to establish the cause. We shall update the public as further information becomes available,” the Ministry report added.
“We pray for the souls of the deceased to rest in eternal peace. The Ministry of Health regrets the unfortunate incident and extends sympathy to the families that have lost their loved ones. May the souls of the deceased rest in eternal peace.”