Tanker Collision Causes 50km Traffic Pile-up on Busy Highway

  • Image of a traffic pile up at Mai Mahiu following tanker accident. July 11, 2019 File
  • Hundreds of motorists were forced to camp overnight along the busy Nairobi-Nakuru highway at Mai Mahiu, on Wednesday, following an accident involving an oil tanker truck.

    Traffic slowly but steadily started piling up, and by Thursday afternoon, the convoy of vehicles stretched for over 50 kilometres on both sides of the road.

    Eyewitnesses stated that the driver of the tanker ferrying highly flammable petrol, lost control of the vehicle, leading up to the accident that resulted in litres of petrol spilling on to the road.

    Trucks line up along the Mai Mahiu-Nairobi road following an accident, July 11, 2019

    "The driver of the trailer failed to negotiate one of the sections at the escarpments resulting in a crash," Geoffrey Mwangi (a motorist) disclosed to the Standard.

    Ghosts of the disaster of Sachangwan of 2009, where over 110 people lost their lives after a tanker burst into flames, seemed to have been exorcised, as residents rushed to the scene, looking to siphon the leaking petrol.

    “Kenyans never learn from such episodes and we watched in horror as young and old rushed to the scene to scoop petrol from the tanker,” Mwangi added.

    Passengers plying the route, via the numerous buses that use the highway to get to destinations such as Naivasha, Nakuru and Kisumu, told tales of how they were forced to sleep on the spot as traffic was literally at a standstill.

    "We spent last Night on Mai Mahiu Road dangerously dodging baboons by night and braving the Cold," Felix Obora tweeted.

    Naivasha Sub-County Police Commander (SCPC), Samuel Waweru, affirmed the incident and maintained that there had been no casualties.

    In a similar incident, traffic on Nairobi-Mombasa highway was crippled for close to 24 hours as well, with motorist forced to spend their night in Tsavo, after two trucks collided and completely blocked the road.

    However, authorities finally cleared up the wreckage at  3 pm on Thursday.

    Traffic pile-up at Tsavo along the Nairobi-Mombasa Highway July 11, 2019
    Traffic pile-up at Tsavo along the Nairobi-Mombasa Highway July 11, 2019