June 30, 2013 / 2:35 PM / 6 years ago

At least 30 killed by fuel truck explosion in Uganda

Uganda firefighters clean a road with water at the scene of a fatal road accident that led to a fuel tanker catching fire that killed and injured many people in the outskirts of the capital Kampala June 30, 2013. REUTERS/James Akena

KAMPALA (Reuters) - At least 30 people were killed and scores more injured when a fuel tanker exploded on a highway in Uganda, a major transit route for fuel heading from Kenya to land-locked east African states, a police spokesman said on Sunday.

The truck exploded late on Saturday a few miles north of the capital Kampala after it had stopped when it was involved in an accident with another vehicle and people nearby crowded round trying take fuel from the tanker, the spokesman said.

The practice of taking fuel from stricken trucks is not uncommon, although what caused the blast was not immediately clear.

The leaders of Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda, who met in Kampala this month, agreed that a fuel line that already runs inside Kenya from its Mombasa port would be extended to Uganda and Rwanda. That would reduce transport costs and improve safety.

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, who is on a visit to nearby Tanzania, sent condolences and said he was monitoring the work of police and medical workers.

Reporting by Elias Biryabarema; Writing by Edmund Blair; Editing by Alison Williams

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