By: DENNIS LUBANGA
Three people died Friday as they siphoned fuel from an overturned tanker at Kipkaren shopping centre on the Eldoret-Webuye highway.
The three died after inhaling toxic fuel fumes, Lugari police boss Bernard Macharia said.
“At around 6am, a lorry that was transporting super petrol to Kampala, Uganda, slid into a ditch.
“The police dispersed a crowd that had come to scoop the fuel, but the three suffocated after inhaling fumes from the fuel that was flowing downstream,” said Mr Macharia.
Two people were rescued and taken to the Lumakanda Sub-County Hospital in a critical condition.
The bodies of the dead were taken to the Chebaywa Mission Hospital mortuary.
Villagers had rushed to the scene carrying plastic containers and started scooping the fuel, which had flowed into a ditch.
“It was so difficult to control the surging crowd that wanted to siphon the fuel. I thank the fire brigade team and police officers from Eldoret who helped us in crowd control,” said Mr Macharia.
The officer refuted social media claims that the tanker burst into flames killing a large number of people.
His Eldoret West counterpart Smollests Munyianzi ordered residents who had siphoned the fuel to get rid of it or face the law.
“We will go door-to-door in Kipkaren to look for the fuel. It is dangerous to keep it in the house because it is highly inflammable,” said Mr Munyianzi.
Mr Isaac Olutoko whose 31-year old son, Cosmas Kavete, inhalled the fumes and died, said his son had left in the morning to look for casual work.
“I was called a few minutes later and told he had died.”
In a separate incident in Kakamega Town, a man was killed after a chunk of earth fell on him while he was digging a trench for the laying of a fibre optic cables.
Two of his colleagues were injured in the accident on the Kakamega-Kisumu road.
SOURCE: DAILY NATION