Fuel Tanker Tragedy: Government Offers Affected Families Money

  • A petrol tanker that killed 14 people in Gem Siaya County on July 18
    A petrol tanker that killed 14 people in Gem Siaya County on July 18
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  • Families affected by the Gem fuel tanker tragedy will receive compensation from the government.

    According to Gem Member of Parliament Elisha Odhiambo, each family will be given Ksh50,000 over the tragedy that claimed 14 lives.

    Speaking in Siaya, the MP confirmed that the government will send a pathologist who will help in the identification of bodies that were burned beyond recognition.

    Undated image of Gem Member of Parliament Elisha Odhiambo
    Undated image of Gem Member of Parliament Elisha Odhiambo
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    On Sunday it was confirmed that 12 people died after a fire erupted from a petrol tanker that had overturned in Malanga along Kisumu-Busia road.

    Gem OCPD Moses Chacha stated that the nearby residents had gone to fetch fuel after the tanker overturned but minutes later the tanker exploded.

    He also confirmed that 19 people had sustained numerous injuries as a result of the accident. Reports also indicated that 19 people were admitted at Siaya County Referral Hospital and five others were admitted at Inuka Hospital while another five were admitted at Yala Sub-county hospital.

    The tragedy was condemned by a section of Kenyans online who questioned why the locals resorted to fetching fuel from the tanker hence endangering their lives. 

    "Kenyans never learn. We have refused to learn that a fuel tanker is not our friend. Now, 13 people are burned to death (sic) as they siphoned fuel from an overturned tanker that exploded at Malanga in Gem, Siaya County last night."

    "11 injured. God have mercy on your people," ODM's communication director Philip Etale shared.

    Previous incidents of Kenyans siphoning fuel from overturned tankers ended in tragedy. In 2009 over 100 people were killed in Molo attempting to siphon fuel. In 2011, nearly 120 people died from a fire at a fuel spill in Sinai slum.

    In 2019, police officers managed to disperse locals who attempted to siphon a tanker that had overturned along the Thika Superhighway. The tanker had tried to overtake another lorry before losing control and tumbling over on the side of the road.

    Police officers swang into action and managed to block all roads in order to avert calamity. No injuries were reported during the said incident. 

    A fuel tanker razed down by fire killed 14 people in Gem, Siaya County on July 18
    A fuel tanker razed down by fire killed 14 people in Gem, Siaya County on July 18
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