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13 people die in fuel tanker fire on Kisumu-Busia Road

The fire broke out when one person opened the tanker compartment to siphon out petrol faster before the arrival of the police. [Courtesy]

Thirteen people are dead while eleven others are nursing injuries at Yala sub-county hospital in Gem Siaya County after an overturned petrol tanker they were fetching fuel from exploded.

The incident happened last night at around 9pm.

The petrol tanker fire killed 13 people at Malanga in Gem, Siaya County. [Olivia Odhiambo, Standard]

The fire broke out when one person opened the tanker compartment to allow them to siphon petrol faster before the arrival of the police.

"The members of the public took advantage and went to siphon the petrol as one compartment of the tanker was open. Another resident realising the other compartment was closed and delaying them, opened it to enable them to siphon very fast before the police could arrive in the process it caused a spark and blew up," said Gem OCPD Mosera Chacha.

Residents gathered around the scene of the tragedy. [Olivia Odhiambo, Standard]

According to Chacha, a lorry ferrying milk and the fuel tanker collision set off the tragedy.

He said they contained the fire with the help of fire engines from Busia County.

"We could not get a fire engine from our county since it is in Nairobi for repairs according to government officials," he noted. 

The tanker is still at the scene while the lorry is at the Yala sub-county police station.