“I was in Senior Four West classroom at around 2.30pm when we heard a big bang and screams of students in the next room housing the computer lab. In less than two minutes, something akin to a tremor shook the whole block and the next thing we saw was a truck amidst us. We ran for our dear lives. Everyone was yelling. When I came back into the room, I saw two of our colleagues lying motionless, and a host of others screaming for help with fractured limbs. Human flesh and blood was splattered all over the room,” Alex Magala, a Senior Six student narrates how he survived the tragedy that left four of his colleagues dead and at least 20 others injured on Tuesday afternoon.
Three students, Eve Namagembe (Senior Five), Hilda Asega (Senior Four) and John Bosco Mawanda (Senior Two) died on the spot after a truck rammed into a classroom block at Kasaka Secondary School in Kanoni Town Council, Gomba District.
Another victim, Lewis Sserwanga (Senior Two) breathed his last on arrival at a local clinic in Kanoni Township.
Eyewitnesses say the driver of the ill-fated truck first hit the school gate before crashing into the computer lab and Senior Four West classroom.
“At first we thought it was a lightning which had struck our building since it was raining. Some of us took refuge under the desks, but reality hit when we saw some colleagues being hit by the truck and some died instantly. Some of us got injured as a result of the stampede and falling debris. I thank God that I am still live,” Allen Namujju, a Senior Four student, said.
Mr Kefasi Katumba, the deputy head teacher, said majority of those injured were Senior Four students, and the school secretary, Ms Cissy Nambejja, who was also in the computer lab.
Mr Katumba said both the computer lab and the main building which houses the Senior Four West classroom were heavily damaged, alongside several computers and furniture.
“It is difficult now to compute how much money is needed to replace what we lost, but it is in millions of shillings. We invite all Good Samaritans to come to our rescue and help us rebuild our school,” he said.
During his address to Parliament on Thursday, President Museveni directed that Shs5m be paid to parents who lost their children in the accident, and Shs1m to those who sustained injuries.
The President also directed the Prime Minister and the Attorney General to liaise with other authorities and ensure the owner of the ill-fated truck compensates the victims’ families according to the law.
Viola Nassimbwa Senior Four
Allen Namujju Senior Four
Kevin Zalwango Senior Four
Andrew Mawejje Senior Four
James Mawejje Senior Four
James Ssemombwe Senior Four
Jackson Mukisa Senior Four
Irene Nantayi Senior Four
Suzan Naiga Senior Four
Esther Nakafeero Senior Four
Augustine Byakatonda Senior Four
Ashiraf Jjuko Senior Four
Betty Nagujja Senior Four
Mariam Nazziwa Senior Four
Evelyn Nanono Senior Four
Vianney Bayobane Senior Two
Agnes Nakaayi Senior Four
Manjeri Mukisa Senior Two
Marvin Bukenya Senior Two
Cissy Nambejja School secretary