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Road safety officials warned of tanker explosion

18 August 2014, 07:57 Victor Tinto

Nairobi - National Transport Safety Commission NTSA officials warned of the consequences of siphoning fuel from a tanker before it exploded, it has been revealed.

The tanker, which had crashed Saturday along the Eldoret- Nakuru highway, claimed the lives of six people after it exploded whilst people were siphoning fuel.

Five of the victims died on the spot in yet another fatal incident along the highway and according to witnesses, members of the public had been warned off the scene by the NTSA officials, but they threatened the officers with a beating if they continued with their demands.

" They were warned, Silas Langat, a boda boda operator who was at the scene moments before the explosion recalls.

" I remember the NTSA officials urging people to leave the area because it was dangerous but they would just not listen. They insisted and even threatened to beat up the officers, he added.

Milton Omondi, who was also at the scene, recalls the officers pleading with members of the public to avoid the area.

" They pleaded and having heard them remind people of Saachangwan, my friend and I moved back, and that is how we survived, he said.

" We too had gone there to fetch the fuel after we were told that there had been a tanker that had crashed. It was a lucky escape.

The cause of the explosion has yet to be confirmed, but officials believe it might have been set off by one of the people there as the engine had been switched off moments after the crash.

It is the latest in incidences that have seen members of the public killed while siphoning fuel from tankers, despite several initiatives to educate Kenyans on the dangers of the act.

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