Tanker explosion kills 40 along Nairobi-Nakuru Highway

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At least 40 people were burnt to death following a grisly road accident involving fourteen cars along the Nairobi-Nakuru highway.

The accident involved a fuel tanker and 14 other vehicles near Kinungi trading center, Naivasha.

Witnesses said the driver of the tanker lost control and hit the other vehicles, causing huge flames reducing them to shells.

“It was unbelievable, there are bodies burnt beyond recognition. Many others were left nursing injuries some of them serious,” said a witness.The scene of the grisly accident and some of the private cars burnt during the accident on Saturday night. At least 40 people died after the tanker explosion./ COURTESY

Among those killed were five GSU officers whose car was hit by the speeding lorry.

For over three hours, the road was rendered impassable as fire fighters from Naivasha sub-county moved in to contain the fire.

Mangled bodies were spread along the highway as relatives and members of the public tried to come in terms with the deadly disaster.

A witness James Kimani blamed the recently erected speed bumps for the accident noting that there were no signs to warn motorists.

Kimani said that the lorry which was going downhill hit the bumps before losing control and ramming into the incoming vehicles.

“There was heavy traffic on the road at the time and the lorry on hitting the other vehicles burst into flames trapping the victims and burning them,” he said.

He added that the fire spread to the others vehicles which included a Nissan matatu and the police car killing many passengers and seriously injuring others.

A survivor only identified as Simon wept uncontrollably as he narrated how he lost his mother, wife and brother in the tragedy.

“We were on our way to Nairobi from Subukia when a lorry hit us head-on before bursting into flames and I was thrown out and watched as they were burnt to death,” he said.Fire fighters from Naivasha sub-county trying to contain the huge fire after the explosion. Courtesy

Speaking at the scene, Nakuru county health chief officer Samuel Mwaura said that all the injured had been referred to KNH for specialized treatment.

Mwaura said that the Naivasha mortuary had recorded over thirty bodies adding that majority of them were burnt beyond recognition.

“Despite the ongoing strike by the doctors we managed to raise enough personnel and attend to the injured before they were transferred to KNH,” he said.

A senior police officer said that the death toll could rise as some people were still trapped in the burning wrecks.

The officer said that ten vehicles and scores of people had been completely burnt after the bizarre incident at the renowned black spot.

“At the moment we are keen on reopening the highway as we seek more information into this incident which has left over thirty people dead,” he said.

By GEORGE MURAGE

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