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DNA tests to identify pupils’ bodies - IGP

DNA tests will be conducted to identify the dead bodies of ten pupils who died in a tragic dormitory fire in Kagera Region, Inspector General of Police (IGP) Simon Sirro has said.

An inferno broke out around dawn at the Islamic Byamungu English Medium Primary School in the Kyerwa District, killing ten pupils, aged between six and 12, leaving six others critically injured.

IGP Sirro, who visited the scene of the accident on Monday, said the DNA analysis will be carried out to identify the remains of the fallen pupils.

While sending condolences to the bereaved families, IGP Sirro insisted; “no stone will be left unturned until the cause of the accident is established.”

He said preliminary investigation showed that the fire outbreak happened at around midnight on Sunday night in a dormitory where 74 boys were sleeping.

The injured children were rushed to Nyakahanga Designated Hospital (DDH) for treatment.

“A thorough investigation is underway to establish the cause of the fire outbreak. However, initial investigation revealed that faulty wiring could have caused the accident,” he said.

IGP Sirro further said several suspects including the owner of the school, identified as Abdul Bushagama were helping in police investigation.

Kagera Regional Commissioner Brigadier General Marco Gaguti has already said the government will bear the costs of burial for the deceased.

According to Brig Gen Gaguti, the school has been closed for a period of five days while a probe team comprising security organs has been formed to probe the fire incident.

He added that the regional government had also instructed relevant authorities to inspect other schools with boarding facilities to establish if they observed safety standards and take stern legal action against those operating without valid permits.

Kyerwa District Commissioner, Rashid Mwaimu sent condolences to parents who lost their children in the incident, appealing for calm and cooperation as authorities seek to establish the cause of the fire outbreak.

Meanwhile, Nyakahanga Designated Hospital (DDH) Secretary, Jeremiah Rugimbana said four out of the six pupils who were admitted at the institution on Monday have been referred to Bugando Medical Centre (BMC) in Mwanza City while one patient has been referred to Bukoba Regional Referral hospital for further treatment.

One patient pupil remained at the hospital in stable condition, he said.

Byamungu Islamic English Medium primary school, in Kyerwa District, has a total of 127 pupils in Standard One to Six. The dormitory which was gutted by fire had 74 pupils-all boys aged between 6 -13 years old.

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