[QODLink]
Africa

Fuel explosion kills dozens in Uganda

Many victims were trying to siphon petrol from tanker before it was hit by a car, police say.

Last Modified: 30 Jun 2013 18:17
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
The accident is the worst of its kind in Uganda since 2001 when 90 people died in similar circumstances [Reuters]

At least 31 people were killed and many others seriously burned in a blaze that engulfed an oil tanker after it was hit by another vehicle in Uganda's capital, Kampala.

Police commander Andrew Kaweesa told AFP news agency on Sunday that many of the victims were scooping or siphoning fuel from the tanker just before the crash.

"We can confirm 31 dead and over 10 others seriously injured in the inferno," he said. "People rushed to take the fuel and in the process fire broke out engulfing the whole area and trapping them."

Numerous motorbikes - some with the petrol tank still on fire - littered the scene of the Saturday evening crash in the suburb of Namungona. Police said many of the victims appeared to have headed to the scene on motorbike taxis.

An AP news agency reporter observed at least 20 badly burned patients in a visit to a nearby hospital. Visitors were being turned away by police and security officials who said doctors and nurses were overwhelmed by casualties.

Musa Ecweru, the Ugandan minister for disaster preparedness, described the incident as an avoidable "calamity".

"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."

The accident is the worst of its kind in Uganda since December 2001 when 90 people died in similar circumstances in the east of the country, police said.

249

Source:
Agencies
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Western fighters have streamed into the Middle East to help 'liberate' Arab countries such as Syria and Libya.
The Pakistani government is proposing reform of the nation's madrassas, which are accused of fostering terrorism.
Weaving and handicrafts are being re-taught to a younger generation of Iraqi Kurds, but not without challenges.
The author argues that in the new economy, it's people, not skills or majors, that have lost value.
Featured
Al Jazeera investigation uncovers allegations of beatings and rape in Kenya's ongoing anti-terrorism operation.
Incumbent Joyce Banda has a narrow lead, but anything is possible in Malawi's May 20 elections.
Western fighters have streamed into the Middle East to help 'liberate' Arab countries such as Syria and Libya.
The Pakistani government is proposing reform of the nation's madrassas, which are accused of fostering terrorism.
Grass-roots campaigns for female candidates are making an impact in India's first nationwide elections since 2009.
join our mailing list