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11 killed in fire at Uganda school for the blind - police

A fire remains inside the burnt building at the Ivory Tower of Makerere University in Kampal on September 20, 2020.   -  
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BADRU KATUMBA/AFP or licensors


A fire outbreak at a boarding school on the outskirt of Uganda's capital, Kampala, has killed 11 people, including children, a police official said Tuesday.

six others who were found in critical condition have been admitted to the hospital, the Ugandan police said in a statement but could not state the cause of 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.

"I have no words to describe the pain I am going through," Richard Muhimba, the father of a dead child who lives in the nearby town of Mukono, told AFP.

"I visited him on Saturday, he was in good health, and three days later he died," he said on the phone before hanging up, overcome with grief.

The Salama School for the Blind, built in 1999, has dozens of students, aged between 6 and 25.

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.

In 2008, 19 elementary school students were killed in a night-time fire outbreak at a boarding school.

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