Karatina residents help themselves to free soda after train rams into truck

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The Nanyuki-bound train rammed into the soda truck at a level crossing in Karatina town. [Kibata Kihu, Standard]

Residents of Nyeri scrambled for soft drinks after a Nanyuki- bound train rammed into a truck ferrying soda at a level crossing in Karatina town.

According to an eyewitness, the early Wednesday morning accident caused a huge traffic jam forcing motorists to use the Ndima-ini route to Nyeri. No one was hurt in the crash.

Police, however, had a hard time controlling looters who raided the Sagana-bound truck for soda, oblivious that the train was ferrying highly flammable fuel to Nanyuki depot.

A resident, Cathleen Mureithi, said the accident could have been avoided had barriers been manned at the level crossing.

“There was no officer from Kenya Railways manning the barriers to prevent motorists from crossing. There is some level of negligence from both parties,” Mureithi said.

Karatina East Deputy Police Commander Shadrack Masila said police have launched investigations into the incident.

The accident is the third involving a train along the Nanyuki - Karatina route.

The Nanyuki- bound train was ferrying highly flammable fuel to Nanyuki depot. [Kibata Kihu, Standard]

In one of those incidents in May, a Nanyuki-bound train transporting petroleum derailed at Ruthagati village in Mathira West Sub-county.

The train dumped thousands of litres of diesel into neighbouring farms.

Paul Muriithi, a farmer whose piece of land is located about 300 metres from the scene of the accident, said he is concerned about the safety of the residents.

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