At least Thirteen people died after a fuel tanker that was involved in an accidents burst into flames along the Kisumu – Busia road in Siaya County.
Scores of others who were part of the villagers siphoning fuel from tanker after it was involved in a head collision with another vehicle sustained severe burns from the fire ball during the explosion.
Confirming the accident, Siaya County Commissioner Mr. Mohammed Barre told Kenya News Agency that over 20 people sustained burns and were rushed to different hospitals in the county.
The accident occurred early Sunday morning near Argwings Kodhek secondary school in Malanga area within Gem Yala Sub County, a few kilometres from Sidindi trading centre where scores of people died in a similar accident two decades ago.
According to eye witnesses, 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.
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.
CC 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 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.
By Philip Onyango