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29 killed in Uganda gas truck explosion

KAMPALA, Uganda — A car struck a moving gas tanker, sparking a fire that killed at least 29 people and left scores badly burned, Ugandan police said Sunday.

The gas tanker exploded after colliding with the car late Saturday on the outskirts of the Ugandan capital, Kampala, said police spokesman Ibn Senkumbi. Investigators concluded the crash was an accident.

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Senkumbi said the tanker had been knocked from behind by a car. Gas started leaking, he said, and some passenger motorcyclists approached the tanker after the driver abandoned it. Suddenly the gas tanker went up in flames that engulfed nearby cars and scores of people who had gathered.

‘‘Some people noticed the flow of fuel and they came for it,’’ he said. ‘‘In the process there was an explosion. The tanker exploded, killing 29 people on the spot.’’ At least 29 others were badly burned, he said.

On Sunday morning, police were still looking for the dead in a nearby swamp where many of the victims had run after catching fire.

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.

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