At least 113 people died in Kenya when an overturned petrol tanker swarmed by locals scooping up leaking fuel exploded, in one of the region’s worst ever such accidents, officials said on Sunday.
“Certainly this is a national tragedy,” Interior Minister George Saitoti said as he inspected the scene of the deadly blaze near the Rift Valley town of Molo, 150 km northwest of Nairobi. Bodies burnt beyond recognition were still strewn across the road.
According to witnesses and rescue services, the tanker overturned on the roadside after being involved in an accident late Saturday. It was soon swarmed by dozens of locals who rushed with jerricans and other makeshift containers to siphon a few litres of fuel spewing from the wreckage into a ditch. Some witness accounts said the spill may have been set ablaze when one member of the crowd lit a cigarette.