Sunday, 1 February 2009

Kenyan tanker crash

At least 111 people have been killed in Kenya after a tanker overturned in the town of Molo. A fire seems to have broken out when hundreds of people rushed to the scene to try to gather the petrol that had spilt. It is not clear what caused the blaze. Some witnesses say that someone in the crowd lit a cigarette, but there are also reports that it was started deliberately to obstruct police who were trying to stop local people scooping up the fuel in their jerry cans. At the scene, the Kenyan interior minister said four of the dead were police.

There was a similar disaster in Nigeria in 2007, when a tanker overturned near the village of Katugal. Again people tried to scoop up petrol and 98 were killed when it caught fire.

One of the worst road crashes in history also happened in Nigeria in 2000. A tanker with defective brakes ploughed into stationary traffic on the motorway from Ife to Ibadan. It overturned, and petrol began leaking, then ignited. A huge fireball devastated a wide area, and according to some estimates, up to 200 people died.

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