Families Decry Frustrations as Tanker Explosion Victims Buried

  • A funeral procession.
    Hearses at Yala Sub-County Referral Hospital on Friday, August 8.
  • Victims of the July 17 Siaya tanker explosion have been buried even as two families decry frustrations by the Yala Hospital morgue.

    The two families say they were denied bodies of their kin since they could not be identified owing to the severity of the burns they suffered.

    The two were part of 22 victims who died in the tragic event when residents of Malanga area in Siaya rushed to siphon fuel after a tanker overturned.

    Caskets at the Yala Sub-County Referral Hospital
    Caskets of the oil tanker victims at Yala Sub-County Referral Hospital on Friday, August 6.

    Of the 19 bodies set for burial, eleven were collected by respective family members at Yala Sub County Hospital Morgue while the other eight were picked from the Siaya County Referral Hospital morgue on Friday, August 6.

    The families were, however, urged to conduct private ceremonies to curb the spread of Covid-19.

    However, the body of Sharon Adhiambo, one of the 22 victims, was not cleared with hospital staff citing difficulty in identifying her body.

    There was reportedly no close family member whose DNA test could be likened to hers as she was an orphan.

    Nonetheless, the family of Pezi Omondi, a cousin of the deceased, protested the decision. 

    In the second case, Hellen Auma, recounted how she underwent multiple DNA tests to identify her late brother’s body.

    Her brother, identified as Samuel Omondi, she says, was burnt beyond recognition but argued that the DNA samples taken were enough to identify him.

    “I have been tested several times here at Yala Referral Hospital yet I am told that my results are inconclusive. Kindly give me the body of my brother we bury him,” lamented Auma.

    In a press statement seen by Kenyans.co.ke, the County Government of Siaya waived treatment and morgue related charges for all the victims.

    Siaya County Governor, Cornel Rasanga
    Siaya County Governor, Cornel Rasanga
    died explosion explosion