29 killed in Uganda gas tanker blast

2013-06-30 15:43

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Kampala - A car crashed into a moving gas tanker, sparking a fire that killed at least 29 people and left scores more badly burned, Ugandan police said on Sunday.

Police spokesperson Ibn Senkumbi said the gas tanker exploded after colliding with a passenger car late Saturday on the outskirts of the Ugandan capital, Kampala.

Most of the dead were passenger motorcyclists who had tried to siphon gas from the tanker. Victims nursing serious burns were rushed to the main referral hospital in Kampala, where an Associated Press reporter counted at least 20 badly burned patients.

Visitors were being turned away by police and security officials who said doctors and nurses there had been overwhelmed by the number of casualties from the gas explosion.

Explosions involving moving gas tankers happen frequently in this poor East African country, often killing those who rush to the scene with plastic cans hoping to steal fuel.

Musa Ecweru, the Ugandan minister for disaster preparedness, described the incident as an avoidable "calamity," saying it was unfortunate that some people had failed to learn from past mistakes.

"We have always told our people to stay away from trucks that involve inflammable products such as petrol," he said. "We thought they would learn from the lessons of the past."

Read more on:    uganda  |  east africa

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