, NAKURU, Kenya, Feb 7 – Two people were burnt beyond recognition when a fuel tanker and a trailer collided head-on and burst into flames on impact at Sachang’wan along Nakuru-Eldoret Highway on Sunday morning.
Another person was seriously injured when he jumped out of the burning trailer and was taken to a hospital in Nakuru by local residents.
The accident would have been more catastrophic as another trailer ferrying maize avoided to run into hundreds of people who had already gathered at the scene. It crashed a few meters from the two burning vehicles.
The impact of the second crash was so big that the cabin disintegrated from the body and stopped more than 20 metres from the badly mangled container.
The Officer Commanding Molo Police Division Achesa Litabalia said the first trailer was transporting logs from Eldoret to Nakuru when it collided head-on with the tanker.
He said the vehicles burst into flames on impact killing the two drivers on the spot. The officer said a third person who is suspected to be the trailer loader jumped out of the burning vehicles and was rushed to hospital by well wishers.
Mr Litabalia said the 7:30 am accident occurred when the trailer driver lost control of the vehicle as he was driving downhill.
“The trailer lost brakes as the driver was negotiating the hilly stretch of the road and collided with the tanker which was ferrying diesel from the Nakuru Kenya Pipeline Corporation depot to Western Kenya,” he said.
Mr Litabalia attributed the many accidents involving prime moving along the highway at Sachang’wan to careless drivers claiming that they disengage gears while travelling downhill and move at high speed.
Fire engines from Nakuru Municipal Council and Timsales Timber Company quickly put out the blaze before embarking on recovering the bodies.
The badly charred bodies were trapped in the cabins for hours. One of the bodies was arrested in motion (read statue) a clear indication that the driver was struggling to jump out of the vehicle while the other one was reduced to ashes save for the skull and a few other big bones.
The vehicles were reduced to shells.
Mr Litabalia appealed to drivers along the highway who engage free gear downhill to stop since it has become a major cause of accidents along the stretch.
Sunday’s accident occurred a few yards from where another tanker collided with a trailer ferrying sulphuric acid and burst into flames. Two people died in the acid accident while many others were burnt by the highly corrosive liquid.
In fact the second trailer in Sunday’s accident landed at the exact place of the previous incident.
Less than five kilometers from the latest scene, 136 people were killed as they were siphoning petrol from a tanker that had been involved in an accident in January last year. Some of the victims were passersby who had stopped to witness the accident.
The past experiences have served no lessons to the residents as armed police had a hard time trying to keep off residents who gathered at the scene.
Another group of uniformed officers stood watch of the maize trailer as residents were hovered around wanting to loot the consignment.