Fuel truck explosion kills several in Kenya

By Agencies

At least 13 people were killed when a petrol tanker overturned and caught fire in western Kenya at the weekend.

The truck collided with another vehicle on a highway between Kisumu and Busia late on Saturday. Witnesses described the crash scene as a “huge fireball”. People had rushed to the scene with jerrycans to siphon off fuel from the overturned tanker before it exploded.

A local police chief said 24 people were in the hospital with serious burns and said children were among the injured. Investigators are still searching the scene and warned the death toll could rise.

“We will require a proper examination to determine if there were people burnt completely at the scene, where bones were found,” Chief Charles Chacha said.

It took two hours for firefighters to reach the scene, near the town of Malanga, about 320km (200 miles) north-west of the capital, Nairobi. A lorry carrying milk traveling in the opposite direction had collided with the petrol tanker.

Witnesses said several motorcycles were found smoldering close to the crash site. One of the injured, Wycliffe Otieno, told journalists how he and others had arrived with jerrycans when the spilled fuel around him ignited.

“I was able to run to safety. I just don’t know how lucky I was, because I have been told the people we were with did not survive,” Mr Otieno said from his hospital bed.