It is just this year that many Kenyans died after trying to get petrol from an oil tanker that turned in Sachangwan in the Rift Valley. Many also got burns and stayed in hospital for a long time because of very serious burns sustained by the explosion. Those who got the burns are now facing serious challenges in life from the terrible scars. This is not the first time such an accident occured, there was a similar incident in Siaya sometime back.
Unfortunately Kenyans never learn from these cases, other tankers have fallen after the Sachangwan case, in Kisumu and other places. The media reported that people rushed to the scene to try and collect fuel, when asked they would say its hunger, no food, high cost of food, high standards of living and did not care they could die in the process. Luckily police would get to some of the scenes fast enough to stop people from getting fuel.
In such cases fire is normally triggered by a smoker, many people do not know that petrol is highly flammable and explodes when it gets ignited. The victims are normally burnt beyond recognition and those who survive suffer terribly from the burns. It is sad when many of the victims have to be buried in mass graves because they cannot be identified.
Even after seeing such cases Kenyans have not learnt, this week another petrol tanker turned in Kericho as usual people went to get petrol to sell. It is said one person tried to steal the battery of the vehicle and in the process petrol exploded. People died and others are still in hospital nursing fire injuries. In all the cases the Government has tried their best to get the victims to hospitals and the dead buried. They have warned people, even the media has played its part in highlighting the tragedies and warning citizens, but nothing has changed, another incident will happen, the story will be the same.
One thing is strange that needs to be investigated, many petrol tankers are getting involved in accidents, the driver and those in the vehicle normally disappear after the accident. Rumors has it that it is always intentional after they sell part of the consignment before they get to their destination. Police will try to contain such incidents but they cannot be everywhere, the Government and the media have done their part well, but still there is a problem. Whether it is due to Poverty or Greed, this is a dangerous trend that needs to be stopped. Siphoning any form of fuel from such vehicles should be outlawed, if one is caught they should be apprehended and charged. A driver caught after causing such an accident, if found guilty of causing the accident intentionally, should be jailed for many years because it is a threat to human life.