Updated by Faith Barbara Namagembe at 1828 EAT on Thursday 30th June 2022.
A casual labourer has died after sliding into a boiler at Kakira Sweets manufacturing plant. 30-year-old Samuel Dhatemwa met his death at around 3 am on Wednesday while filling gas in the heating system of the boiler.
According to the information obtained by our reporter, the boiler trapped Dhatemwa, who sustained burns and suffocated to death. Another casual laborer who spoke on condition of anonymity said there is no barricade between the heating point and the gas filling areas, which often exposes them to accidents.
“This place is a little slippery and we often push the bar gas towards the boiler using our feet. But since there is no barricade to offer us primary protection, it is easy to slide to the boiler and die. Equally, the high heating temperatures at that particular point, don’t favour us to pull out colleagues in danger,” he said.
The employee also revealed that they lack standard protective gears to safeguard them from injuries within the risky areas of the plant. The deceased’s father, Moses Bwana, says that he received the first briefing about his son’s accident at about 9:00 am.
Bwana says that he rallied other family members who accompanied him to the factory premises to witness the process of retrieving Dhatemwa’s lifeless body. Lawrence Iriiso, the head of safety and security at Kakira, says that the sweets factory has been temporarily closed to pave way for investigations into the matter.
The Kiira Regional police spokesperson, James Mubi, says that the deceased’s body has been taken to Jinja regional referral hospital mortuary for postmortem as they investigate the cause of the accident.
“As of now it was an accident, but still retrieving the body was not easy. We had to put efforts together and we have succeeded. The body at the moment is at Jinja Main hospital mortuary. However, if there is any possibility of ill intentions we shall find out, we shall investigate and if possible we shall arrest the culprits. Again, the factory of course now has to step up efforts, especially safety measures. They are there but now this is a learning curve not only for Kakira but other factories,” he said