13 Killed in fuel tanker explosion
At least thirteen people have been confirmed dead after a petrol tanker that was involved in accidents exploded into flames along the Kisumu – Busia Highway Siaya County.
More than 20 others are nursing severe burnt injuries in hospital after they were caught up in the bizarre incident trying to siphon fuel from a tanker.
Siaya County Commissioner Mr. Mohammed Barre confirmed the incident which occurred early Sunday morning near Argwings Kodhek secondary school in Malanga area a few kilometres from Sidindi trading centre where scores of people died in a similar accident two decades ago.
According to eyewitnesses, the tanker which was transporting petrol from Kisumu to Uganda hit a milk transporting lorry that was heading in the opposite direction before veering off the road and rolling landing near the school fence.
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Villagers who rushed to the scene started siphoning fuel that was flowing from the tanker and as the scramble ensued, the tanker exploded.
The fierce tongues of fire engulfed those who were within the vicinity, as everyone scattered to escape.
Barre said fire fighters were summoned and helped put out the fire as the milk transporting lorry, which was slightly damaged, was towed to the Malanga police post.
Barre called on the public to desist from rushing to accident scenes to siphon fuel from tankers.
“We should never try to siphon fuel from any vehicle. This is an automatic death warrant,” said the County Commissioner who lamented that members of the public seemed not to learn from past incidents that have led to loss of hundreds of lives in different parts of the country.