Three died on the spot while scores of others were rushed to various hospitals following Friday morning’s incident at Kipkarren trading centre where hundreds of residents drew litres of spilled fuel after a road accident involving a petroleum tanker along the busy Eldoret-Webuye highway.
According to Lugari OCPD, Mr. Bernard Macharia, the accident occurred at about 7 am when the tanker, which was transporting about 30,000 litres of super petrol from Eldoret to Kampala, Uganda, was unable to climb a hilly section of the road after Kipkaren bridge before it lost control and plunged into a roadside ditch near Kipkarren River.
“Hundreds of area residents, armed with all sorts of cans, stumbled upon each other as they struggled to draw the spilling Super Petrol.
A number of them were pushed into the ditch which was already half full with fuel,” said Macharia who added the three suffocated to death on spot after inhaling excess fumes emanating from the deadly fuel.
Macharia further confirmed two men were rushed to Lumakanda Sub County Hospital in critical conditions while others were transferred to Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital in Eldoret where one was pronounced dead while undergoing treatment.
Tens of others were given first aid by the locals at the scene after suffocating and managed to escape death by a whisker.
Police officers at Lumakanda station had a difficult time trying to prevent the surging locals from drawing the fuel, with some of them threatening to light the scene.
They, however, managed to chase away the swelling crowd before cordoning off the place.
Macharia has cautioned those who drew the flammable fuel against storing it in the houses, “let them beware this is a highly inflammable product which can easily catch fire and cause wanton destruction,” he added.
The area police boss has issued a stern warning, cautioning area residents against the habit of rushing to accident scenes with intentions of vandalizing and stealing property, especially from long distance trucks.
Bodies of the three were transferred to Chebaiywa Mission Hospital in Uasin Gishu County.