11 Dec 2016

Oil tanker explosion kills at least 30 in Kenya

8:18 pm on 11 December 2016

A fuel tanker has exploded on a road in Kenya, killing at least 30 people.

A screenshot from a video that appears to show the fire from the oil tanker on the Kenyan highway, near Naivasha.

This video shows the fire from the oil tanker, according to local news website Citizen TV. Photo: YouTube / Kenya CitizenTV

The Kenya Red Cross said the tanker, heading to Uganda, had appeared to lose control before crashing into other vehicles in Naivasha, north-west of the capital Nairobi.

Eyewitness Moses Nandalwe told the BBC a huge fireball quickly engulfed other vehicles on the busy road.

He feared that many people who had gathered at the scene of the crash were also caught in the inferno.

Kenya's Nation newspaper reported 40 dead and at least 12 vehicles burnt.

Among the burnt vehicles was a matatu minibus with 14 passengers. All of them died.

Mwachi Pius Mwachi, deputy director of Kenya's National Disaster Management Unit, said the tanker had been travelling downhill when it went out of control.

Correspondents say the accident has happened at a time when doctors are on strike, severely limiting services in government hospitals.

It happened late last night local time (Sunday NZT).

In 2009, more than 100 people burned to death near the town of Molo when a truck carrying petrol caught fire.

- BBC / Reuters