Rwanda National Police (RNP) has clarified cause of fire that gutted a Mercedes Benz C200 - RAB 371 F on February 26, at Gishushu Traffic Lights.
The Police spokesperson Assistant Commission of Police (ACP) Celestin Twahirwa refuted claims by the vehicle owner that the fire was ignited by a tossed cigarette butt saying that investigations have since proved that it’s technically impossible.
“Preliminary investigations have since established that it is technically not possible for a cigarette butt tossed on a moving
vehicle’s bonnet to ignite a fire considering that the gas tank of a Mercedes Benz is at the back and not in front; still there is no way a
cigarette spark could burn the bonnet to the extent of reaching the engine,” said ACP Twahirwa.
He added that the fire started from within the car and not at the bonnet; this is clearly visible from the photos.
“The car, which was model 1994, was already in a sorry state and may have had several mechanical problems including wiring. The car’s motor vehicle inspection certificate had expired,” said the police spokesperson.
He went on to reveal details of the investigations saying that the first responding police officer who arrived at the scene, immediately was not told by the owner, the cause of fire but he said he didn’t know the real cause and never mentioned “a tossed cigarette butt" incident
“The owner came up with the story of a tossed cigarette butt at a very later hour otherwise the officer could have followed up the vehicle that tossed the cigarette immediately or communication to intercept it ahead,” he said.
ACP Twahirwa however pointed out that thorough investigations are still going on to identify the exact cause of fire but so far preliminary findings have ruled out a tossed cigarette butt incident.