Uganda fuel tanker collison sparks fire, killing 30


KAMPALA, Uganda -- At least 30 people were killed late Saturday in an accident involving a transit fuel tanker in the capital of Uganda, the main transit point for fuel imports bound for landlocked Rwanda, Burundi and eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, the police said Sunday.

Ugandan police said that the fuel tanker was involved in a collision with a small vehicle along a major highway in Kampala, causing a spill. A fire broke out shortly, setting vehicles and people ablaze during the evening rush hour, Patrick Onyango, Uganda police spokesman told Dow Jones Newswires.

"More than twenty victims are in a critical condition; it is so tragic," Mr. Onyongo said.

The accident was the most deadly in the capital in recent years.

Scores of fuel trucks destined for Rwanda, Burundi and eastern Congo pass through Kampala every day, often jamming the city's already congested roads. Attempts to build a new network of roads and railways to reduce congestion in Kampala continue to be dogged by inadequate funding.

Expansion of mining and other business activities in its landlocked neighbors, notably in the mineral-rich eastern Congo and Rwanda, continue to worsen the congestion along Ugandan roads.

Last week, Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni, held talks with his counterparts, Rwanda's Paul Kagame and Kenya's Uhuru Kenyatta, about the development of several infrastructure projects aimed at easing the transit of goods in Uganda.

The three presidents agreed to, among other things, extend an oil pipeline from eastern Kenya to Uganda and on to Rwanda, to reduce reliance on road transportation.

The presidents also agreed to fast track the construction of a new railway line linking Rwanda to the East African coast.

Dow Jones Newswires

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