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Two die while siphoning oil from ship in Kisumu Port

Some of the ships abandoned at Kisumu Port. (Photo: Collins Oduor/Standard)

Two men suspected to have sneaked aboard an oil tanker, moored at Kisumu Port, to siphon oil were found dead Sunday evening.

The two are suspected to have sneaked aboard the ship on Saturday night.

Their bodies were discovered on Sunday evening by a member of the crew who was inspecting the cargo destined for Tanzania.

A casual employee at the facility, who sought anonymity as he is not allowed to speak to the Press, said the two might have suffocated inside the tanker.

"There are very powerful fumes inside the tanker and those people would not escape without protective gear," said the employee who was among the first people to reach the scene.

Up to 7pm on Sunday, the bodies were yet to be retrieved because police officers who responded to the distress call declined to get into the tanker for fear of their safety.

"We cannot risk getting into the ship. We are trying to reach the relevant experts to help get the bodies out before we can confirm their identities," said an officer.

Port Manager Mwalimu Disi said he could not confirm the identities of the dead nor comment on the matter as it was under investigations.

County Police Commandant Titus Yoma confirmed the deaths saying officers had been sent to the ground to retrieve the bodies.

"We have received reports about bodies found in an oil tanker, we can only say more after getting information from officers on the ground," said Yoma.

The incident comes barely one week after three people sustained serious injuries when fire broke out in the same ship.