School collapses in Kapchorwa, killing one on spot, injures dozen others

Clearing wooden debris from the site of a collapsed school in Kapchorwa on Wednesday. One pupil died on spot while dozen others were injured when the building gave way (PHOTO /Uganda Red Cross).

KAPCHORWA —At least one pupil, a male child has been killed and dozens more injured in Kapchorwa, on Wednesday January 12 when the school building they were in collapsed, a Uganda Red Cross spokesperson Irene Nakasiita said.

The structure at Kakwirwok Nursery Christian Academy, a private school in Eastern Uganda, gave way at 2:00 PM, shortly after classes resumed from lunch break, Nakasiita told UG Standard via phone call.

Images of the scene posted on social media and aired on local television showed rescue teams and bystanders clearing wooden debris, beams, and corrugated metal sheeting. They shuffled through chairs as a crowd gathered around the debris where the school had once stood.

One pupil died on spot when the building gave way. Photo has been filtered for editorial purposes. Original photo available on request (PHOTO /Uganda Red Cross).

Kapchorwa Hospital said over 10 pupils were being treated at the medical facility for “various soft tissue injuries.”

A top health officer who spoke to UG Standard on condition of anonymity said that the medical team “has managed to contain the situation and the children are stable as they receive treatment.”

The cause of the collapse has not yet been determined, though commentators in local news outlets were quick to raise questions about the structural integrity of the building.

Ms. Nakasiita said Uganda Red Cross team in Kapchorwa responded to the emergency and was later joined by
Uganda Police.

Several other buildings in other parts of the country have collapsed in recent years, often because of shoddy construction.

Students returned to the classroom in Uganda on Monday after an 83-week hiatus brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The government says around 15 million children were affected by the world’s longest school closure.

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