Thirteen people have died and others seriously burned in northwest Kenya after a petrol truck that had overturned caught on fire, and a “huge fireball” engulfed a crowd on Saturday night.
As the fuel tanker collide with another vehicule on a highway connecting the town of Kisumu to neighbouring Uganda, onlookers rushed to the crash site with jerrycans to collect the leaking fuel.
But the truck ignited without warning, leaving many shocked and scarred.
“We were woken up by a very loud blast. When I rushed out, I saw a huge fireball and people were screaming,” said nearby resident Jack Odhiambo.
13 people dead, others injured after an overturned petrol tanker exploded as they were siphoning fuel in Malanga on the Kisumu-Busia highway pic.twitter.com/ls37ZdkLKZ
— Citizen TV Kenya (@citizentvkenya) July 18, 2021
Those on the scene first managed to get away safely with some fuel, said witness Magdalene Adhiambo.
But others went back for a second round, and the crowd grew larger as more and more people arrived hoping to get lucky.
“We left to go get fuel from the overturned tanker, my neighbour who lives next door left for the fuel too. We got some on the first trip and brought it home but when we went back for the second time, that is when the tanker exploded,” recalls Diana Odongo, who lost two relatives in the explosion.