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Parents Storm School After Fire Outbreak

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Jackeline Namugga is one of the parents who dashed to the school. Namugga, who was in her sleeping dress, says she lost her mind when she learnt about the fire outbreak and all she wanted was to physically confirm that her child was safe and sound.
Parents requesting gatekeepers and police officers to allow them enter the school premises and physically confirm that their children are safe

Audio 5

Parents stormed St Augustine's College in Wakiso district on Monday night demanding to meet their children following a fire outbreak that gutted the boy's dormitory. Parents started arriving at the school on foot, boda boda motorcycles and private vehicles demanding that the school opens its gates to allow them see their children physically.

Jackeline Namugga is one of the parents who dashed to the school. Namugga, who was in her sleeping dress, says she lost her mind when she learnt about the fire outbreak and all she wanted was to physically confirm that her child was safe and sound. 

According to Namuggga, they were denied access to the school premises, which heightened their fears that something terrible could have happened.

//Cue in: "tumanye eeh temuyinza…

Cue out… nti bali safe."//

At first, the gatekeepers and policemen insisted that no parent was going to be allowed in for security purposes as more parents continued arriving each passing minute pleading to see their children. 

//Cue in: "batukirize tulabeko…

Cue out…leave this place."//

//Cue in: "nze nzijje kulaba…

Cue out…tetulina kyetugende kuba."//

A police officer assured the parents that they had contained the situation and no child was injured or dead.

//Cue in: "we got the…

Cue out…students are safe."//

His assurances fell on deaf ears as parents demanded to be allowed into the school to see their children. They started pushing the gate prompting management to bow to pressure and allow them in.

Derrick Muhumuza, a senior five student told URN that fire gutted the school at around 8:30pm as they were attending preps in their respective classrooms.

Muhumuza said that they heard screams from their counterparts who were in the nearby staff room and scampered for dear life.

//Cue in: "I was in….

Cue out…I saw fire."//

He says police officers arrived at the school within thirty minutes before the fire brigade team showed up.  One of the officers told URN that they managed to put out the fire and conducted a search to confirm all students were safe.

He however, says all student property including books and beddings among others were reduced to ashes. One of the students told URN that one of their colleagues suffered a heart attack during the stampede and was rushed to Wakiso Health Centre IV.

Our reporter visited the health center and found the student unattended too. Journalists from NTV offered to transport him to St Joseph hospital, a private health unit in Wakiso town council for treatment.

By that time this reporter left the scene at a quarter to mid night, more parents were continuing to arrive at the school. Although they had been accepted to access the burnt dormitory, parents had not been granted chance to meet their children since teachers claimed that they were still conducting roll calls to ensure that no student was missing.