Looters were on Thursday spotted siphoning fuel in Mai Mahiu after a tanker overturned.
The accident caused a huge traffic snarl up on the usually busy Nairobi – Nakuru highway.
It was not immediately clear what led to the accident that involved a truck; it had rolled down the escarpment.
Ten years ago, over 100 people were burnt to death after a tanker exploded in Sachang’wan, Molo and residents rushed to siphon fuel.
200 others were injured in what has been termed as one of the deadliest accidents in Kenya’s history.
The tanker had been transporting fuel from Mombasa to Eldoret when the accident occurred.
According to the Daily Nation, 36 of those who were injured had to be airlifted to Nairobi with their condition described as critical.
The Kenya Army and Kenya Air Force provided helicopters to Kenya Red Cross and government ministries to transport the victims to Nairobi.
A majority of those who died had attempted to make their way to the nearby Molo River, their bodies consumed in flames.
They were reportedly caught in a thicket of blue-gum as the nearby forest also caught fire.
In Tanzania, a similar accident in August this year left 57 people dead and 65 injured.
CNN reported that: “someone noticed the truck’s cargo was leaking and many rushed to get buckets and containers to collect the fuel.”
The state broadcaster TBC Taifa said the explosion occurred around 200 km (120 miles) west of the capital Dar es Salaam.
President Uhuru Kenyatta later sent a message of condolence to the families of the victims.
On Thursday, the National Transport and Safety Authority issued a statement following the Mai Mahiu incident saying: “Motorists are urged to use alternative routes, fuel siphoning is dangerous.”
— Ma3Route (@Ma3Route) October 17, 2019
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