Crime & InvestigationNews

School Fires: Stop Using Burglar Proofs – Police Warns Schools

Following the fire that gutted a dormitory at St Bernard Secondary School in Rakai district over the weekend, Police has come out to advice all schools countrywide to stop using burglar proof doors and windows in student’s dormitories.

According to police, the issuance of the new security guideline is aimed at reducing fatalities in case of fire accidents attacks and accidents.

Addressing the press at Central Police Station in Kampala, Police Spokesperson SSP Emilian Kayima said that so far the investigations into St Bernard fire reveal that suspected attackers first locked the dormitory from outside  before setting it a blaze.

He also said that the fire was as a result of an attack allegedly planed by some 11 Senior Four students who were recently expelled from school due to indiscipline.

By Tuesday night, the death toll had raised to 10. The bodies were transported to Mulago Hospital mortuary for postmortem and DNA tests.

Government analytical laboratory has also finalized analysis on the bodies samples and has started issuing them to parents and relatives for burial.

At least 37 students still lie with injuries at Rakai, Kitovu and Kilisizo hospitals.

The police publicist said that Police joint investigations have so far led to arrest of six suspects among them students and school staff.

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 Other Guidelines

Police also reminded school administrators about earlier guidelines issued way back in 2008.

The guidelines were as a result of the Buddo inferno in which 19 pupils perished.

Almost all of them focused on security and safety which included setting up school security committees, registration of all visitors and smooth co-existence with school neighbors.

Kayima also advised schools to install fire safety equipment like water hydrants and carry out timely fire safety drills with students.

School administrations were also urged to keep watch over students by encouraging teachers to sleep around schools in order to deter likely attacks.

On Tuesday, the Minister for Higher Education JC Muyingo said that Ministry of Education is going to provide all schools with fire extinguishers.

About St Bernard SS fire, Minister Muyingo revealed that government will assist parents of the ten deceased students in burial arrangements.

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