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Fuel tanker blast kills 31 in Uganda

01 July 2013

A fuel tanker explosion in the Ugandan capital, Kampala, has killed 31 people and left at least 20 others injured, police said. The accident happened on June 29 on the outskirts of Kampala after the tanker collided with a car. According to the semi-independent Daily Monitor newspaper, the fuel spilled from the tanker onto the road and ignited.

Some reports said the majority of the victims were trying to siphon fuel from the damaged tanker when the fuel ignited.

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."

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

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