Preliminary findings by the Uganda Civil Aviation Authority-UCAA show that a fuel spill caused the jet fuel tanks to catch fire. The fire broke out on Tuesday at two jet fuel tanks at Entebbe International Airport.
There are four jet fuel tanks that store a total of 7.5 million litres. Air operators consume 10 million litres of jet fuel monthly at Entebbe Airport.
The tanks are located near the parking lots for the general public, long terminal and staff.
Also, the fuel tanks are also adjacent to the main access road for motorists heading to the cargo and passenger terminal building.
According to UCAA’s Acting Director-General Fred Bamwesogye, the fire broke out when aviation fuel staff were draining out the remaining fuel segments using a diesel-powered pump.
He says during the process, which is part of routine maintenance, the pump’s drainage tube disengaged from the pump, causing the fuel to spill and triggered the fire outbreak.
Some of the eyewitnesses say that when the drainage tube disengaged, the fire broke out immediately. The fire was put out by UCAA’s Airport Fire and Rescue Service Team who spraying water to cool the tank.
Bamwesigye says that the authority will issue a comprehensive incident report within 24 hours, as required by the International Civil Aviation Organization- ICAO.
Bamwesigye says that the current fuel tanks were set up in the 1970s and they did not pose any safety threats because there were no facilities between the passenger terminal and the tanks.