Just three days after 26 people died when a supermarket in Nairobi burst into flames, at least 100 are feared dead in a fuel tanker explosion in Kenya’s Rift Valley.
The deaths occurred on Saturday evening along the Nakuru – Eldoret highway when hundreds of villagers rushed to a fuel tanker accident to siphon fuel. Among the dead are at least 5 police officers who had gone to prevent the kind of disaster that tragically ended their lives.
This latest disaster occurred at the Sachangwan area, about 30km west of the Rift Valley provincial headquarters at Nakuru. The area was also affected by last year’s political and ethnic clashes.
According to reports, a fuel tanker from the Nakuru oil depot got involved in a road accident at about 7pm local time. Villagers and motorists stopped to scoop fuel using any available container they could find. Police arrived to chase away the looters and it is believed this is when an exposion engulfed the site in fire.
It is still not clear what exactly caused the fire but an accident scene with hundreds of people fighting for loot is really a disaster in the making.
Among those caught in the fire were people travelling between Nakuru, Eldoret and Kisumu. Initial reports in Kenyan media indicate that a passenger bus may have fallen victim to the explosion.
Bodies could be seen burning at the site hours after the disaster.
We will bring you more of this story as details emerge.