KAMPALA, July 1 (Xinhua) -- The death toll in the weekend fuel tanker accident in central Ugandan has risen to 35, a top government official said here on Monday.
Rose Namayanja, minister of information and national guidance, told reporters that the death toll rose to 35 people on Monday morning from the 29 that was reported on spot in the Saturday night inferno, as six out of 29 that were injured dried later.
A Kenyan registered fuel tanker number KBL 361B caught fire after it was knocked by a station wagon car about 10 km west of the capital Kampala.
"The impact and damage at the back of the fuel tanker caused a spillage of fuel on the road and the nearby papyrus swamp. The spillage attracted motorcyclists, passersby and some residents who started scooping fuel," Namayanja said.
"Unfortunately, a huge fire broke out, engulfed the whole area and burnt people who were scooping fuel," she added.
She said 17 bodies have been so far collected by the bereaved families while others are still being identified. She said DNA tests would be carried out on some bodies which were burnt beyond recognition. She cautioned the public against engaging themselves in fortune seeking acts.
"Government wishes to strongly caution the public against such dangerous fortune seeking acts like this one. The public is also encouraged to always immediately report any such incidents to the police for timely intervention to save lives and mitigate the resulting losses," she said.