Fire victims' name to be engraved in stone

13Aug 2019
The Guardian Reporter
MOROGORO
The Guardian
Fire victims' name to be engraved in stone

A monument will be built at the graveyard where bodies of people who died on Saturday after a fuel tanker overturned and exploded have been laid to rest in Morogoro region.

Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa.

Speaking here during his visit to Kola cemetery, Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa directed regional authorities to ensure that gravestones are also erected once the remains of the victims have all been identified and interred.

A perimeter wall will be put up around the graveyard in memory of the victims whose official number as of yesterday was 71. Sixty bodies were buried on Sunday after a mass funeral and the burial of others continued yesterday.

Although the place will be walled and with a towering monument, relatives of the victims laid to rest there will be allowed to freely visit the graveyard and conduct rituals according to their faiths and traditions, the premier noted.

“Only nine bodies preserved at the Morogoro regional referral hospital are yet to identified; the rest have been identified,” he said.

The Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office (Policy, Parliamentary Affairs, Employment, Youth and the Disabled) Jenista Mhagama said that DNA samples have already been taken from the remains for ease of identification, urging those with missing relatives to visit the facility so that all are identified and laid to rest.

Maneno Emmanuel, association of motor taxi operators (bodaboda) chairman at Gwami area in the municipality—which lost scores of members—appealed to such operators to exercise restraint whenever accidents happen.

Officials said many of the victims were trying to siphon fuel from the tanker after it overturned.

On Sunday, the premier formed an investigative team to establish if there was laxity on the side of government authorities in the circumstances that led to the fire disaster.

He gave the team five days to submit the horror accident report to his office.

The investigative team needs to find out why responsible government bodies including police and traffic officers failed to take action, including restricting people from scrambling for fuel when the tanker overturned.

Speaking during his visit to survivors who were admitted at the Muhimbili National Hospital in Dar es Salaam on Sunday, President John Magufuli said that the government would pay medical bills of the more than 60 people injured in the explosion.

There have been calls from some quarters to prosecute the injured to stop people stealing from the scene of accidents in future, but the president said it was not the time to judge those caught up in the accident.