The Princess Royal has spoken of her shock at the “tragic loss of life” following a fatal fire at a boarding school in Uganda she was due to visit.
The blaze broke out at the Salama School for the Blind, in a rural community just outside Uganda’s capital, Kampala, killing 11 children.
Anne, who is visiting Uganda with her husband Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence, was due to tour the school on Friday in her role as patron of Sense International.
The charity supports people with deaf-blindness and has been working with Salama school to ensure students are equipped with specialist equipment.
The princess said: “I was shocked to hear the news of the tragic loss of life. The work of Sense International across many countries is hugely appreciated, working with such a vulnerable group of children.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and staff.”
During Thursday Anne carried out engagements in support of Save the Children UK, an organisation she supports as patron, and later this week will visit Sense International’s head office in Kampala where she will meet the charity’s representatives and families supported by the organisation.
The Princess Royal will also have an opportunity to pay her respects to those affected by the fire.
A local police official said earlier this week the incident happened overnight on Monday at the school in the district of Mukono. At the time no cause for the fire was given.
Richard Kramer, Sense and Sense International chief executive, said: “Everyone at Sense and Sense International is shocked and deeply saddened by the tragic loss of 11 children as a result of a fire at Salama School for the Blind in Mukono District, Uganda, on Monday 24th October.
“Our thoughts, at this time, are with the families, and everyone that has been affected.
“Sense International Uganda and Kilimanjaro Blind Trust Africa have been working with the school to ensure students are equipped with specialist equipment to aid their school work.”