Kampala, July 3: At least 17 people were killed today in a multi-vehicle accident on a Uganda highway, one of the worst crashes of its kind in this East African country.
National police spokeswoman Polly Namaye said five vehicles, including two passenger minibuses, were involved in the accident today evening in Mpigi district, about 50 kilometres from the capital, Kampala.
Initial investigations showed that a private vehicle attempted to overtake another at a sharp corner, hitting a trailer which swerved and hit other vehicles, she said.
"We believe this was reckless driving," she said. She said 12 other people were injured in the accident. Philip Mukasa, a regional police spokesman in charge of the area where the accident occurred, described a gruesome scene, with officials still trying to make sense of what happened.
He said the 15 people died instantly. Deadly motor accidents are frequent in Uganda, where roads and highways are narrow and often littered with potholes.
Head-on collisions involving heavy vehicles are common. The highway where today's accident occurred usually has heavy traffic including trucks carrying imports from the Indian Ocean coast to Rwanda through western Uganda.